Beyond secular/religious division. The role of religion in the public sphere in the polarized Europe

Project: Research

Research areas and keywords

UKÄ subject classification

  • Religious Studies
  • Ethics
  • Law and Society
  • Political Science

Description

Recent changes in religious landscape in Europe pose growing concerns to all parts of the political spectrum, becoming a point of contention between the increasingly polarised sides of the public debates. Two opposing major positions seem to clarify in response to these developments - either religion is seen as more and more problematic, and the emphasis is given on individualisation and privatisation of religious observance, or secularism is seen as “an attempt to rid Western civilisation of Judeo-Christian values” , and the solution is seen in the return of historically rooted Christian denomination. Both operate on a division between the “secular” and “religious”, as mutually exclusive.
But is there a way to go beyond this dichotomy, and find a “third way”? As some of the interviewees of David Suchet, in his recent show “Questions of Faith”, repeatedly point out, secularism introduced conditions of possibility for religious coexistence in different countries around the world. Is there a way to reconsider the complex relationship between the secular and the religious, and recreate these conditions? Did some strands of religious communities, separated from the scrutiny of public eye, radicalised and developed narratives harmful to the rest of society? Did the state, encouraging secularisation, and locating the work of religious organisations in the private sphere, got rid of public utility services that religious organisations successfully implemented in the past?
In the proposed series of seminars, that will be organised during the academic year of 2019/2020, the Centre for Theology and Religious Studies would like to look for answers to these questions, and we would like to invite other internationally recognised scholars to discuss them with us.
StatusNot started
Effective start/end date2019/09/012020/08/31

Participants