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Religious Freedom and its New Critics? (Religion and Politics Working Group)

Dates:
  • Mon 08 Feb 2016 13.00 - 15.00
  Add to Calendar 2016-02-08 13:00 2016-02-08 15:00 Europe/Paris Religious Freedom and its New Critics? (Religion and Politics Working Group)

This talk will explore the growing literature devoted to criticizing idea of religious freedom and religious freedoms laws. Traditionally critics of religious freedom have often been conservative religious thinkers who associate the notion with secular enlightenment thought. There is, for instance, a long tradition of Catholic thought critical of religious freedom. However, today's new critics of religious freedom are often atheists and on the political left. Their worries about religious freedom are motivated by political frustrations, and especially their concerns about the deleterious effects "Western" international law has had in the Middle East. Instead of protecting religious minorities, these critics claim that legally securing their freedom based solely on matters of religious difference often creates the very conditions for their persecution. Instead international lawyers and policy makers would do well to focus less on religious differences and more on the social and economic conditions that are more to blame for political instability and violence. This talk raises the question as to why a form of religious freedom can be articulated that avoids the problems its new critics have raised. Moreover it questions the underlying argument that secularism is premised on western conceptions of religion that always reduces religion to a matter of belief and not practice.

Sala del Capitolo, Badia Fiesolana DD/MM/YYYY
  Sala del Capitolo, Badia Fiesolana

This talk will explore the growing literature devoted to criticizing idea of religious freedom and religious freedoms laws. Traditionally critics of religious freedom have often been conservative religious thinkers who associate the notion with secular enlightenment thought. There is, for instance, a long tradition of Catholic thought critical of religious freedom. However, today's new critics of religious freedom are often atheists and on the political left. Their worries about religious freedom are motivated by political frustrations, and especially their concerns about the deleterious effects "Western" international law has had in the Middle East. Instead of protecting religious minorities, these critics claim that legally securing their freedom based solely on matters of religious difference often creates the very conditions for their persecution. Instead international lawyers and policy makers would do well to focus less on religious differences and more on the social and economic conditions that are more to blame for political instability and violence. This talk raises the question as to why a form of religious freedom can be articulated that avoids the problems its new critics have raised. Moreover it questions the underlying argument that secularism is premised on western conceptions of religion that always reduces religion to a matter of belief and not practice.


Location:
Sala del Capitolo, Badia Fiesolana

Affiliation:
Department of Political and Social Sciences

Type:
Working group

Organiser:
Prof. Olivier Roy (EUI-RSCAS)
Michal Maciej Matlak (EUI - Department of Political and Social Sciences)

Contact:
Michal Maciej Matlak (EUI - Department of Political and Social Sciences) - Send a mail

Speaker:
Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins (Columbia University)
 
 

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