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Thinking differently about religion, politics, and power - Keynote address CRCPD jubilee conference by Professor Elizabeth Shakman Hurd

When:We 13-09-2017 18:00 - 20:00
Where:Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, Oude Boteringestraat 38

On Wednesday the 13th of September prof Elizabeth Shakman Hurd will provide a public lecture titled Thinking differently about religion, politics, and power as part of the five year jubilee conference of the Centre for Religion, Conflict, and the Public Domain.

About the topic of her talk, Shakman Hurd says: 'My work explores alternatives to the segregation of religion and politics as analytical categories. I propose a “third way” that transcends the pitfalls of both an uncritical, universalizing secularism or separationism, and the naïve presumptions of religious accommodationism. This lecture will explain and illustrate this approach to religion and politics. It involves disaggregating “religion” as an object of law, policy, and governance, and re-embedding it in the social, legal and political fields in which it is enmeshed. It is premised on the insight that religion is always entangled with and even merged into politics, history, law and other forms of social life. Drawing on my recent book Beyond Religious Freedom, I explore the implications of such an approach for studying and living with religious and political difference, diversity and dissent. This “third way” opens new possibilities to “think and practice difference differently,” particularly those differences that are—or used to be—organized around the ‘religious’ and the ‘secular'.'

Merete Bilde, Policy Adviser to the European External Action Service will respond to Shakman Hurd's keynote address.

Elizabeth Shakman Hurd

Elizabeth Shakman Hurd is Professor of Politics at Northwestern University, where she studies the politics of religion in international relations, religion and state in comparative perspective, and the history and politics of relations between the US and the Middle East. Hurd teaches courses on America and the world, religion, race and global politics, the Middle East in international relations, and religion, law and politics in cross-cultural perspective. She is a regular contributor to public discussions on US foreign policy and the politics of religious diversity, and has written for Boston Review, Public Culture, The Atlantic, Chicago Tribune, Foreign Policy, Al Jazeera America, Globe and Mail, and The Monkey Cage. Her books include The Politics of Secularism in International Relations (2008) and Beyond Religious Freedom: The New Global Politics of Religion (2015), both published by Princeton. She is co-editor of Politics of Religious Freedom (Chicago, 2015) and Comparative Secularisms in a Global Age (Palgrave, 2010), and co-organizer of the Luce-supported project Politics of Religious Freedom: Contested Norms and Local Practices.

Public panel discussion on 15 September

Another activity of the conference that is open to a wider audience, is the public panel discussion on Religion, Secularism and the Politics of Difference on 15 September at 11.30 a.m.