Secular States Struggling with Religious Freedom

04 - 05 May 2023

ISFORB Conference

Secular States Struggling with Religious Freedom

Location : ETF Leuven

Language : English

The right to religious freedom is acknowledged and implemented by a vast majority of countries, who signed the UDHR. But to what extent liberal societies can and should accommodate religious differences, remains debated: some secular states ensure religious neutrality by building a “wall of separation,” some position themselves as an “even-handed helper.”

This third international conference, organized by the Institute for the Study of Freedom of Religion or Belief (ISFORB), aims to give attention to struggles of secular states with FORB rights. This topic can be addressed on both theoretical and practical levels from an interdisciplinary perspective. Scholars from a wide range of disciplines are welcome to contribute to the comprehensive discussion on the subject from a legal, theological, missiological, sociological, historical or other disciplinary viewpoint.

During our two-day conference we will be looking at topics such as a) the notion and different interpretations of the secular state; b) various models of legal provisions and practices of religious policies on the backdrop of the socio-cultural and historical realms of different countries; c) issues of self-identification and self-representation of the religious communities and their patterns of adaptation in various socio-political and historical contexts. The topics will be introduced in plenary papers and academic discussions. The conference traditionally will be followed up by a thematic publication.


More information will be added here in due time.

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