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Harvard hosts Cardiff conference

30 September 2015

Conference attendees

An ecumenical colloquium, believed to be the first meeting of its kind in the USA, was held at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts on Saturday, 12 September 2015 under the auspices of the Centre for Law and Religion at Cardiff University Law School.

The colloquium was an ecumenical exploration of the teaching of church law to ordinands and others training for ministry in churches and was organised and run by Professor Norman Doe, Director of the Centre for Law and Religion at Cardiff Law School. Mark Hill QC, an Honorary Professor at Cardiff, and the Bishop of Cork, Dr Paul Colton, Honorary Research Fellow at Cardiff University Law School also took part.

Thirty lawyers and teachers at theological colleges and seminaries participated, mostly from the USA, but also from Canada, England, Wales, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, and South Africa. The day was spent examining the purposes of teaching and study in church law in ministerial training, the subjects of study, the methods used, and also whether there would be longer term value in setting up an international network of teachers and scholars in this field for greater ecumenical understanding. Among the lawyers, the Christian denominations represented were: Roman Catholic, Anglican/Episcopal, Presbyterian, Methodist, Dutch Reformed, and several other reformed churches.

The event was held at Harvard Divinity School, the result of a lot of hard work by staff at the school including Leslie MacPherson Artinian, in the Office of Ministry Studies, and Professor Dudley Rose, Associate Dean Ministry Studies, who welcomed the participants to Harvard Divinity School. Through the good offices of Bishop Stacy Sauls, Chief Operating Officer of the Episcopal Church USA (and a Cardiff LLM in Canon Law graduate), the event was sponsored by the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Episcopal Church, and, with the support of David Booth Beers, Chancellor of the Episcopal Church, by the Boston law firm Goodwin Procter LLP. Norman Doe is writing a report for the participants and further debate.

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