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Internationaler Workshop | Religion and the Liberal Script: Contestation, (In-)Compatibility or Sustenance?

08.06.2023 - 09.06.2023
International Workshop | Religion and the Liberal Script: Contestation, (In-)Compatibility or Sustenance?

International Workshop | Religion and the Liberal Script: Contestation, (In-)Compatibility or Sustenance?
Bildquelle: Marcio Chagas / Unsplash

The Cluster of Excellence “Contestations of the Liberal Script (SCRIPTS)” is a research consortium hosted by the Freie Universität Berlin (Free University-Berlin) that unites eight major Berlin-based research institutes and is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). The term “liberal script” marks a set of ideas and institutional arrangements for how society is organized based on the core principle of individual self-determination (see links below for a fuller description). From historical, philosophical, political, and global-comparative perspectives, SCRIPTS analyses why the liberal model of societal organization has fallen into crisis despite its political, economic, and social achievements. Interdisciplinary, international research teams investigate the nature of the current challenges, the reasons for the rise of alternate concepts of societal organization, and the consequences of these alternate visions for our time.

Across the globe faith traditions have been sources of the support of liberal democracy, but also sources of significant challenge. Prominent examples range from Islamically justified restrictions on civil rights in several Muslim-majority countries, Hindutva propaganda undermining equal citizenship in India, Russian-Orthodox support for the war of aggression against Ukraine and for civil rights restrictions (especially on the LGBTQ+ communities), and Catholic and white evangelical support for racist, xenophobic, sexist, and homophobic policies excluding many sectors of the population in the US and Latin America. The SCRIPTS workshop "Religion and the Liberal Script" wants to move beyond such prominent controversies to look more deeply and systematically at the interrelationships among faith traditions and the liberal script.

The program is divided into two parts: The first part focusses on theological and philosophical perspectives and raises questions about the genealogy and intellectual history of the term "religion" itself as it is linked to the rise of (European) philosophical liberalism. The workshop then moves on to consider normative political-theoretical approaches to the relationship between faith traditions and the liberal script. Topics include: distinguishing between the presence of faith traditions among the populace and the presence of faith traditions in policies and law and exploring the general compatibility of faith traditions and liberal democracy in increasingly pluralistic societies. The second part of the workshop focuses on historical and empirical perspectives. It looks at concrete cases of the interrelations between faith traditions/religious institutions and the liberal script—relations of support and challenge. Presentations will include both historical and contemporary perspectives and cases studies from various parts of the world covering a diversity of faith traditions as they interact with a variety of liberal democracies. The workshop seeks to shed more light on the conditions that shape these relationships. In other words: under which conditions do tensions and challenges arise and under which conditions is the relationship between Religion and the liberal script (mutually) supportive?

Zeit & Ort

08.06.2023 - 09.06.2023

Evangelische Akademie zu Berlin
Charlottenstr. 53-54
10117 Berlin