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Scholars, Conscience, and Conferences

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This report on “Religion scholar boycotts BYU conference to protest university policy” provides a case study for students to consider regarding participation in public discourse in sessions and contexts that do not align with their sincere convictions.  Mark Juergensmeyer, a sociology professor from the University of California Santa Barbara who is a past president of the American Academy of Religion and the author of “Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence,”  has withdrawn as speaker at Brigham Young University’s International Law and Religion Symposium , saying, “I could not speak at a conference that is devoted in part to religious freedom, at an institution that seemed to be denying that freedom to its own students. I felt in an act of conscience I couldn’t take part in such an event.”

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