Staat-Religion-Gesellschaft-Titelbild

State · Religion · Society

To this day, the strict separation of church and state is considered an important democratic principle in some countries; prominent examples are France (fr. laïcité) and Italy (it. laicità). However, religious communities, particularly evangelical churches, are gaining more and more power in society and politics, both in the U.S. and in Latin America. Similarly, in Russia a new, conservative orthodox church has emerged and is striving for influence. In Canada the Bouchard-Taylor Report on Cultural and Religious Accommodation is a timely response to church-state relations confronted with the necessity of cultural and religious harmonization. How can such phenomena be explained? How are they perceived and put into practice? What kind of future might we be facing?


 

Do 28.10.2021

Canada’s Secularism Rift
Daniel Marc Weinstock (McGill University)

Mo 15.11.2021

Mo 06.12.2021

Respecter les cultures ou libérer l'individu ?
Stéphanie Hennette-Vauchez (Université Paris Nanterre) and Vincent Valentin (Sciences Po Rennes)

Di 29.03.2022

 

Location and participation*

The lecture series takes place online or in hybrid form (HS 7, Innrain 52, Innsbruck) with video transmission.

 

Programme

Canada’s Secularism Rift
Daniel Marc Weinstock (McGill University)

Thursday, 28.10.2021, 19.00 pm (MESZ/UTC+2), online

Moderation: Rainer Bauböck (European University Institute)
Language: English
Organiser: Zentrum für Kanadastudien in cooperation with Zentrum für Interreligiöse Studien
Location: Online (Zoom-Link: https://zoom.us/j/93139292812?pwd=SHMvbUY0Wmd6K2loSFJoYmpFZWdaZz09, Passcode: Innsbruck)

 

Canada’s political and constitutional history is punctuated by conflicts that have opposed the province of Quebec with the rest of Canada and with the Federal government. Over the past decades, many of these conflicts have had to do with the rival interpretations of liberal democratic principles, such as language legislation, models of immigrant integration, and the like. In recent years, secularism – the loss of importance of religion in society – has emerged as a flashpoint in this ongoing conflict. In this presentation, the constitutional context and the details of this confrontation and its political import will be discussed across a range of domains such as immigration integration and education. At the same time, ways of shaping the path toward a possible reconciliation will be explored.

 

Canada's political and constitutional history is punctuated by conflicts that have opposed the province of Quebec with the rest of Canada and with the Federal government. 

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Many of these conflicts have to do with the rival interpretations of liberal democratic principles that are dominant in the two federated societies. Over the course of the past decades, the conflict has involved, among other things, language legislation, the principles that should govern any future secession process, the model of immigrant integration that should be privileged, and the like. In recent years, secularism has emerged as a flashpoint in this ongoing conflict.

Canada's conception of liberalism is the classically liberal one that sees secularism as an implication of the liberal state's commitment to neutrality. According to this view, the separation of church and state ensures that all citizens are treated as equals, because no single religious (or non-religious) conception is affirmed by the state as dominant. This conception tends to focus on the functioning of state institutions, rather than on individual behaviour, including individual behaviour within those institutions when it does not affect the capacity of institutions to function neutrally. Secularism is both an implication of, and limited by, a doctrine of robust individual rights guarantees.

Quebec's conception of secularism has by contrast over the course of the past few years, partly as a result of its confrontation with the Canadian version, taken on an "identitarian" bent. Secularism is not just an institutional set of precepts derived from core liberal commitments. It has increasingly come to be seen as central to Quebec's modern identity, and thus as potentially posing a limit to individual rights, in the same way that the protection of language has for previous generations.

In this presentation, I will explore the details of this confrontation and of its political import across a range of policy domains, including immigration integration and education. I will also explore the constitutional context in which this conflict occurs, and point to ways in which this context shapes the path toward possible reconciliation of the two views.

 


Professor Daniel Marc Weinstock is the Katharine A. Pearson Chair in the Faculty of Law and the Department of Philosophy at McGill University (Montreal, Canada). His research interests include: foundational issues underpinning public policy in the areas of family law and education, health and health promotion, multiculturalism and immigration, and majority – minority relations. 

Other participants:

Julia Mourão Permoser is the Elise Richter Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Political Science of the University of Innsbruck. Her main areas of interest are migration, citizenship, religion, the European Union, liberalism, and the challenges and opportunities that pluralism poses to democratic politics.

Wolfgang Palaver is professor of Catholic Social Teaching at the Faculty of Theology at the University of Innsbruck and leader of the group "Religion – Politics – Violence" at the Austrian Research Association from 2006 to 2012. His research includes questions around violence and religion as well as on democracy, populism and nationalism. 

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Konservative Fluchtpunkte. Orthodoxie und Staat in Russland und in der Welt
Kristina Stöckl (Universität Innsbruck)

Monday, 15.11.2021, 19.00 pm (MESZ/UTC+2), HS 7 with video transmission

Moderation: Roman Siebenrock (Universität Innsbruck)
Language: German
Organiser: Russlandzentrum
Location: HS 7 with video transmission (Zoom-Link: https://zoom.us/j/93139292812?pwd=SHMvbUY0Wmd6K2loSFJoYmpFZWdaZz09, Passcode: Innsbruck)
Registration: Google-Form

Since the end of the Cold War, churches and religious communities in the former communist countries have gained political and social influence. Similarly, in Russia a new, conservative orthodoxy has emerged and is striving for influence, supported by the government's already autocratic tendencies and through its conservative social doctrine. The religious resistance against liberalism and secularization is not limited to Russia. With the support of the Russian state, the Moscow Patriarchate has become a global “norm entrepreneur” and has attracted the support and attention of conservative circles and right-wing Christian groups around the world.

 


Kristina Stöckl is professor and head of sociology at the University of Innsbruck. Her research is centred in the field of the sociology of religion and political sociology, focussing on questions of knowledge and value systems, pluralism and conflicts. Her special field is Russian Orthodoxy and religion and politics in Russia. 

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Respecter les cultures ou libérer l'individu ?
Stéphanie Hennette-Vauchez (Université Paris Nanterre) and Vincent Valentin (Sciences Po Rennes)

Monday, 06.12.2021, 18.00 pm (MESZ/UTC+2), online

Moderation: Anton Pelinka (Universität Innsbruck)
Language: French/German
Organiser: Frankreich-Schwerpunkt in cooperation with Institut français d’Autriche / französischen Botschaft in Österreich
Location: Online (Zoom-Link: https://zoom.us/j/93139292812?pwd=SHMvbUY0Wmd6K2loSFJoYmpFZWdaZz09, Passcode: Innsbruck)

Not only in France, has the religious diversification of society lead to tensions and anxieties within society. The legal and political framework of laicism, which has a long history, has been massively mobilised in the public debate since the late 1980s. However, the importance attached to this concept is changing considerably; in particular, an increasing number of constellations are now supplemented by a requirement of neutrality for private individuals. In this context, political goals formulated as a fight against "communitarianism" or "separatism" raise important legal and political questions.

Stéphanie Hennette-Vauchez and Vincent Valentin attempt to recall the main moments and features of the change in the meaning of secularism in the political and legal debate of the last forty years, before offering some reflections on the relationship between individual freedom and religious freedom.

 


Stéphanie Hennette-Vauchez has been professor of public law at the University of Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense since 2010; director of CREDOF (Centre de recherches et d'études sur les droits fondamentaux – Research Centre for Fundamental Rights) since 2015; specialist in bioethics law, human – critical theory, non-discrimination and secularism and religious freedom, among others.

Vincent Valentin is professor of public law at Sciences Po Rennes and a renowned specialist on secularism in contemporary democracies and on liberal thought; author of numerous works on neoliberalism, the libertarian movement, political philosophy and the legal definition of secularism.

Other participants: 

Kristina Stöckl is professor and head of sociology at the University of Innsbruck. Her research is centred in the field of the sociology of religion and political sociology, focussing on questions of knowledge and value systems, pluralism and conflicts. Her special field is Russian Orthodoxy and religion and politics in Russia. 

Wolfgang Palaver is professor of Catholic Social Teaching at the Faculty of Theology at the University of Innsbruck and leader of the group "Religion – Politics – Violence" at the Austrian Research Association from 2006 to 2012. His research includes questions around violence and religion as well as on democracy, populism and nationalism. 

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Laizität und Menschenrechte in einer vielfältigen Gesellschaft
Cinzia Sciuto (Frankfurt)

Monday, 10.01.2022, 19.00 pm (MESZ/UTC+2), HS 7 with video transmission

Moderation: Marie-Luisa Frick (Universität Innsbruck)
Language: German
Organiser: Italien-Zentrum
Location: HS 7 with video transmission (Zoom-Link: https://zoom.us/j/93139292812?pwd=SHMvbUY0Wmd6K2loSFJoYmpFZWdaZz09, Passcode: Innsbruck)
Registration: Google-Form

Our society is becoming increasingly complex. Ethnic, religious and cultural conflicts are increasing. Invoking religion and tradition, fundamental individual human rights are being called into question – especially for women. How can cultural diversity and human rights be reconciled? How can living together be organised in the future? Where "cultures" are treated as untouchable museum objects and people not as individuals, but as representatives of a group, one runs the risk of minimising violations of human rights and especially women's rights. That is why we need more secularism. Secularism is not the simple separation of state and religion, but the principle according to which no tradition, no religion, no God can be used to justify a restriction of human rights.

 


Cinzia Sciuto is journalist and author. She studied philosophy in Rome and Berlin and holds a PhD from the Sapienza University. Today she works as a senior editor at the Italian journal for philosophy and politics MicroMega and writes for some prominent German media. In her blog animabella.it she deals with secularism, women's rights and questions of bioethics. She has published two books: "The Traps of Multiculturalism. Secularism and Human Rights in a Diverse Society" (Rotpunktverlag, 2020; original edition: "Non c'è fede che tenga. Manifesto laico contro il multiculturalismo", Feltrinelli, 2018) and "La Terra è rotonda. Kant, Kelsen e la prospettiva cosmopolitica" (Mimesis Edizioni, 2015).

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Protestantische Eliten und die ‚Christianisierung‘ der Politik: Brasilien, Mexiko und die USA
Heinrich Wilhelm Schäfer (Universität Bielefeld)

Tuesday, 29.03.2022, 19.00 pm (MESZ/UTC+2), HS 7 with videotransmission

Moderation: Martin Coy (Universität Innsbruck)
Language: German
Organiser: Zentrum für Interamerikanische Studien
Location: HS 7 with video transmission (Zoom-Link: https://zoom.us/j/93139292812?pwd=SHMvbUY0Wmd6K2loSFJoYmpFZWdaZz09, Passcode: Innsbruck)
Registration: Google-Form

Two years before his election campaign, Brazilian President Bolsonaro was baptised in the Jordan River by Pastor Everaldo, a neo-Pentecostal star entertainer, to great media acclaim – but he remained a Catholic. During his election campaign, he has repeatedly been blessed in church services and apostrophised as the candidate of God. This is just the tip of an iceberg of religious identity politics that washes presidents like Bolsonaro or Trump into power, legitimises Chile's Piñera or blocks the peace process in Colombia. In Latin America and the USA, more and more religious experts are increasingly undermining secular politics with religious strategies. These will be examined in the lecture using the examples mentioned.



Heinrich Wilhelm Schäfer has been Professor of the Sociology of Religion and Protestant Theology at Bielefeld University since 2006. In the 1980s, he carried out field research on religious movements in conflict areas in Central America. Between 1994 and 2003 he was a professor at two universities in Costa Rica with research activities and teaching assignments in various Latin American countries. Since 2006 his research projects have mainly focused on Latin America and the USA. He is a member of the Center for InterAmerican Studies (CIAS) in Bielefeld and co-founder of the Center for the Interdisciplinary Research on Religion and Society (CIRRuS).

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*Participation

All lectures are accessible online on the platform Zoom (Zoom-Link: https://zoom.us/j/93139292812?pwd=SHMvbUY0Wmd6K2loSFJoYmpFZWdaZz09, Passcode: Innsbruck).

The lectures on 28.10.2021 and 06.12.2021 will take place online.
The lectures on 15.11.2021, 10.01.2022 and 29.03.2022 will take place in attendance (registration desired) in compliance with the safety and hygiene regulations in force at that time.

 

COVID-19 measures at the University of Innsbruck
Due to the current situation surrounding COVID-19, there may be changes to the procedure and the applicable safety and hygiene measures at short notice. Further information can be found at: COVID-19 information

 

Data protection information
Photographs and/or films may be taken during this event. By participating in the event, you take notice of the fact that photographs and video materials in which you are depicted will be used for press coverage and published in various (social) media, publications and on websites of the University of Innsbruck. For further information on data protection, please see our privacy policy:

www.uibk.ac.at/datenschutz

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