Religious Norms

Religious Norms in the Public Sphere: Florence Workshop Program

Organisers:
Olivier Roy, in the framework of the Mediterranean Programme (RSCAS, EUI)
Christopher Kutz (University of California, Berkeley)
Heddy Riss (University of California, Berkeley)

Villa Malafrasca
Via Boccaccio 151
50133 Florence

Thursday 16 Dec

18:30 Keynote Speech by Olivier Roy and Marco Ventura

Friday 17 Dec

09.00-10.00  Ofrit Liviatan
Rethinking Law's Role in European Debates over Islam through Europe's Experience with Abortion Reform
Discussant: Christopher Kutz

10.00-11.00  John Morijn
Protecting religious identity in the European Public Sphere: Human rights, requirements, remaining policy-options and judicial control
Discussant: Valerie Amiraux

11.00-11.30  Coffee break

11.30-12.30  Yüksel Sezgin and Mirjam Künkler
Contesting Boundaries of Private and Public: Religious Law in India and Indonesia
Discussant: Olivier Roy

13.00-14.00  Lunch

14.00-15.00  Harun Karcic
Shari'a norms in a secular state: the case of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Discussant: Marco Ventura

15.00-16.00  Elise Massicard
Recasting Islamic Heterodoxy: The Judicialization of Alevism in Turkey and Europe
Discussant: Patrick Haenni

16.00-16.30  Coffee Break

16.30-17.30  Stefano Allievi
Islam in Europe: the Road to Exceptionalism
Discussant: Nadia Marzouki

Saturday 18 Dec

Religious Norms in The Public Sphere (RPS)

From the ban of minarets in Switzerland, to the question of crucifixes in public schools in Italy, to the English High Court ruling on Jewish identity in the case of admission to an orthodox Jewish high school: the sacred has emerged into secular democratic politics.

This “return to the sacred” encompasses both a reemergence of religious norms and ideas into public sphere and, as a result of globalization, an increasing disconnect between religious norms and regional cultural markers.

In our post-9/11 world, the media has focused on ‘newly’ discovered Muslim populations in the West, often casting this religious group in ethnic terms. This has led Western governments to use problematic tools and lenses - assimilation, secularization, and multiculturalism - to deal with religious “minorities’” role in the public sphere. These are problematic because they mistake the relation of religion to culture and politics within pluralistic states. The Religious Norms in the Public Sphere network (RPS), anchored by U.C. - Berkeley and the  Robert Schuman Center of the European University Institute (EIU), aims to shed new light on these issues by recasting the supposed tensions between Islam and the West in light of broader questions about religion’s relationship to modern politics and society.  The RPS international scholarly network will analyze the call by people of all faiths for greater recognition of religious norms by governments, legislatures, and schools.

The RPS project will have clear relevance for public policy on both sides of the Atlantic by directly addressing how political demands and religious identities can be respected while still complying with the secular principles underlying Western democratic traditions.

Religious Norms in the Public Sphere (RPS)

From the ban on minarets in Switzerland to the question of crucifixes in public schools in Italy and the English High Court ruling on Jewish identity in the case of admission to an orthodox Jewish high school, the sacred has emerged into secular democratic politics. The RPS international scholarly network will analyze the call by people of all faiths for greater recognition of religious norms by governments, legislatures, and schools.It is a joint initiative of iGov and the Robert Schuman Center.

It has been made possible thanks to the support of the Partner University Fund, the Carnegie Foundation and the Social Science Research Council.

The issue of Muslim integration in the West has become much more pressing over the last decade. This increasing visibility has had two simultaneous but contradictory effects. While it has led to a polarized debate between adherents of the “clash of civilization” thesis and their opponents, it has also raised interest about Islam and religion among the general public. Muslims’ presence in the West has resulted in an unexpectedly large number of issues that have been addressed differently in different nations, according to the particularity of the culture and history of each national context.  For example, while the Islamic headscarf been the center of debate in the public sphere in France since 1989, in the U.K. the discussion has centered primarily on the role of Islamic tribunals in shaping family law.