A Tribute to Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

Brett G. Scharffs is Director, International Center for Law and Religion Studies and Rex E. Lee Chair and Professor of Law, BYU Law School

This morning, November 8, 2020, I awoke to the sad news that Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks had passed away at age 72 from cancer. This is a man I have deeply admired for many years. We at the International Center for Law and Religion Studies join the chorus of voices from around the world in paying tribute to this remarkable voice for human dignity and religious freedom, and especially for his powerful testimony against the evil of anti-Semitism.

Rabbi Sacks served for 22 years as the Chief Rabbi of the Orthodox Jewish Community in Great Britain and the Commonwealth. For many years he presented a three-minute “thought for the day” on BBC Radio, which gave him an influential platform.

He was an outspoken critic of anti-Semitism. If you have never heard him speak before, a good starting place is his speech to the European Parliament on the importance of eradicating anti-Semitism.


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In Memoriam: Norberto Padilla

Our friend and colleague Norberto Padilla passed away in his native Buenos Aires from complications following stomach surgery. He was 76. He was serving as president of the Latin American Consortium for Religious Freedom at the time of his death. He was a founding member of that Consortium and also of the Argentine Council on Religious Liberty (CALIR). He worked closely in partnership with the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at BYU. (more…)

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Juan Martin Vives (1980-2019)

With deep sadness we announce the sudden and untimely passing of our young colleague Juan Martin Vives, devoted husband of Gisela and father of Jana and Mark. Juan Martin was a member of the 2018 Inaugural Class of the International Law and Religion Studies’ Young Scholars Fellowship on Religion and the Rule of Law.

Only 39 years old at the time of his death on the night of October 1st, 2019, Juan Martin was an energetic legal scholar, academic leader, and speaker, a vibrant international voice on matters related to Law and Religion, Religious Freedom, and relations between Church and State.

Juan Martin’s group selfie, Oxford 2018 (more…)

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