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José Vicente Casanova (1951, Saragossa, Spain)

José Vicente Casanova
José Vicente Casanova
  • José Casanova studied Philosophy in Saragossa, Spain, received his MA in Theology at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, and studied Sociology in New York, where he was appointed professor of Sociology at the New School for Social Research.
  • He currently works as professor of Sociology of Religion at the Department of Sociology at Georgetown University (Washington DC) and heads the Berkley Center’s Program on Globalization, Religion and the Secular.
  • He is best known in his field for his book Public Religions in the Modern World (1994).
  • He was awarded the Theology Prize by the Salzburger Hochschulwochen for hislife-long achievement in the field of theology.
  • Recent publications:
    • Secularization, Religion, and Multicultural Citizenship (2014)
    • Secular and Sacred? The Scandinavian Case of Religion in Human Rights, Law and Public Space (2014)
    • Religious Associations, Religious Innovations and Denominational Identities in Contemporary Cities (2013)
  • José Casanova w as nominated for the honorary doctorate by the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, because of his interest in the contemporary period and the relation between religion, secularism and globalization.

José Casanova is one of the leading scholars in the field of the sociology of religion, publishing and speaking widely on subjects concerning religion, globalization, migration and pluralism. His book Public Religions in the Modern World is considered a modern classic. In lectures and public discussions he speaks about various, often controversial subjects, like religious freedom, the role of gender and women in the Catholic Church, the influence of Jesuits on globalization, religion and the secular in modern China and civil rights in Muslim democracies.

Nowadays, he often speaks about the role of religion in urban societies in relation to violence, stating that religion can both be the problem and the solution to the fundamental issues of living together on this globe. In a recent discussion he states that we have to come to terms with the fact that we live in a world with many religions and human cultures. Instead of trying to convert everybody to one universal religion or culture, we should respect this plurality. Quoting Mother Theresa who said “I love all religions, but I am in love with my own”, he adds that he could embrace a proselytism which is compatible with such an attitude.

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Last modified:21 September 2018 11.13 a.m.