Secularism as a political doctrine was formulated during the nineteenth century, when a group of British intellectuals proposed the separation of church and state and argued that the ideal foundation of government was a moral system grounded in universal rather than religious values. Like many of the teachings of the Enlightenment, secularism has proved difficult to export, and is showing signs of strain even in Europe. This event brings together well-known scholars to debate and discuss the secular revolution and its aftermath.
Session One, 9:00-10:30 AM
Archeologies of Old World Secularism
Speaker: Philip S. Gorski, Professor of Sociology, Yale University
Discussants: Tomoko Masuzawa and Anna Grzymala-Busse, University of Michigan
Chair: Geneviève Zubrzycki, University of Michigan
Session Two, 11:00 AM-12:30 PM
Slouching toward Bethlehem: Secularism in the MENA Region
Speaker:Akeel Bilgrami, Johnsonian Professor of Philosophy, Columbia University
Discussants: Pauline Jones Luong and Butch Ware, University of Michigan
Chair: Karla Mallette, University of Michigan
Session Three, 2:00- 3:30 PM
Is religion back? Did it ever go away?
Speaker: Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, Associate Professor of Political Science, Northwestern University
Discussants: Paul Johnson and George Hoffman, University of Michigan
Chair: Lisa Disch, University of Michigan
Sponsors: the International Institute, Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies, Center for European Studies, and Islamic Studies Program.