Entre religion et sécularisme

Un atelier est proposé pour le prochain colloque de European Consortium for Political Research: Regulating Private and Public: Between Religion and Secularism, Bordeaux, 5 – 7 septembre 2013. Pour y participer, envoyer le titre et un court résumé (3-4 lignes) à Guy Ben-Porat gbp[at]som(point)bgu(point)ac(point)il.

Panels in this proposed section will examine, theoretically and comparatively: the role of religion in public and private lives, regulation of religion by states, and religious-secular struggles over rights and obligations. The modern state has taken control from religious institutions not only the regulation of education and welfare but also services like marriage and burial. Secularization has implied a new division of labour between political and religious authorities, where the modern state has official authority while religion continues to provide moral guidance for individuals and, in some cases, legitimacy for the political system. Consequently, in many modern and seemingly secular states religion has different roles in private and public lives and different divisions of labor between religious institutions and the state exist.

Differing arrangements face different challenges, either by traditional, or religious, proponents that reclaim the definition of the common good, or by those that find the common good too close to religion. Specifically, some religious actors believe that modern, western individualism is contrary to the common good, while some secular actors believe that individual choice must be expanded. Consequently, questions like the recognition of gay marriage, abortion, polygamy and religious slaughter of animals are often politically salient as some states contend with conflicting demands of groups unsatisfied with existing rules and groups fighting against change. In many democracies, therefore, previous agreements are being re-negotiated between religious and secular actors. 

This proposed section of panels seeks to engage with both regulation of and competition in private and public life involving both religious and secular authorities. The specific questions we wish to examine include: How do various societies, in Europe and elsewhere, deal with these new and unexpected demands? To what extent is it possible for either the state or religious authorities to regulate private and public lives? In this regard, which models of accommodation have been either successful or unsuccessful?

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