SOCREL Digest – 24 Jan 2019 to 26 Jan 2019

Regulating the financial abuse of religious and spiritual capital.

Research Workshop, School of Law, 14 February 2019.

Religion is powerful, with the power of religion being a type of religious
capital. Such

power can be abused. Religious and spiritual fraud is a significant social

with one estimate of Christian fraud alone amounting to $34bn per year
globally. It

also raises profound theoretical questions around the appropriate

between the state, religious and spiritual organizations  and the community;
and in

particular the difficult question of the authority of the religiously
pluralist state to

determine facts in a religious context. The regulation of religious and
spiritual power

that results in financial gain to a religious leader or organization needs
to thread a

difficult course through under-regulation (with the exposure of those whom regulation seeks to protect, and damage to the interests which underpin an
area of

regulation) and over-regulation (with the risk of excessive restriction of
the religious

or spiritual interests of individuals and organizations, and damage to the

which religious rights seek to advance).

The workshop will be chaired by Professor Peter Edge (Professor of Law,

Brookes University). Professor Pauline Ridge (Professor of Law, ANU;

Fellow, Oxford Brookes University) will focus on the application of general

around undue influence in the particular context of religious and spiritual

Craig Allen (Research student, Oxford Brookes University) will focus on the

application of general criminal rules, particularly the Fraud Act 2006, in


The workshop will take place on the Headington Campus of Oxford Brookes

University between 2 and 4pm on Thursday 14th of February 2019. Attendance

free, but places are limited. Please contact Craig Allen (

to reserve a place.

Best wishes,