CFP: Kongress “Rethinking Europe with(out) Religion” nächsten Februar in Wien

International Congress: Rethinking Europe with(out) religion. Deadline for abstracts 30 September 2012

Full details as PDF can be found here CFP_Rethinking Europe with(out) Religion

Sehr geehrte Interessierte an der Forschungsplattform RaT! Liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen!

Die Forschungsplattform „Religion and Transformation in Contemporary European Society“ (RaT) möchte Sie hiermit auf den im Februar 2013 stattfindenden Kongress „Rethinking Europe with(out) Religion“ aufmerksam machen.
Details sowie ein Anmeldeformular finden Sie auf der Kongress-Homepage:

Die Kolleginnen und Kollegen an Universitäten und Bildungseinrichtungen bitte ich, diese Information im Rahmen der Ihnen zur Verfügung stehenden Möglichkeiten weiterzuleiten. Bitte machen Sie Studierende auf diesen Kongress aufmerksam! Für alle Fälle hänge ich den CfP an.
Mit freundlichen Grüßen und allen guten Wünschen für einen erholsamen Sommer!

Angelika Walser

Dr. Angelika Walser
RaT (Religion and Transformation
In Contemporary European Society)
Schenkenstr. 8-10
1010 Wien
T.: 0664-60277-23803

Beschreibung: RaT_Logo


CFP: Religion, Value, and a Secular Culture 5 & 6 November 2012

Religion, Value, and a Secular Culture

Council for Research in Values and Philosophy (CRVP)

University of Kwazulu-Natal, Durban (South Africa)
5 & 6 November 2012

By the term “secular culture” is meant one which problematizes the foundations for the various religious beliefs that make up the traditions of that society, though the public order may not be
founded on any particular expression in those traditions, of the ethical framing of life together. The shift from a premodern culture is characterized by two central changes: (i) the greater degree of individual freedom. This is recognized as a key value in changing societies and is given expression in the democratic institution of universal suffrage; and (ii) the emergence and prestige of the sciences and of scientific method as the default paradigm of human knowledge.

As the major religious traditions acquired their canonical expression in premodern culture, they do not to any great extent deal with a thought-out response to the major factors or key values which characterize contemporary culture. Thus the first factor challenges the traditions to re-think attitudes to women, to moral rules and values, and to hierarchy; the second factor calls upon religious thinkers and leaders to be involved in dialogue with the sciences and knowledge acquired thereby.

One response to these changed conditions of society has been to remove religion and religious beliefs altogether from public debate. This is then framed solely in terms of individual human rights and the values of equality and tolerance. However, in the absence of any foundation for these rights and values, this framework might itself seem arbitrary and imposed, in particular in a global situation of the interaction of more developed with still developing cultures and economies. A purely procedural democracy and ethical framework might disallow real dialogue on substantive values or with persons.

Not amenable to scientific inquiry strictly speaking. Religious fundamentalism, for its part, sees no possibility of such dialogue, and can be seen, as does Karen Armstrong, rather as a reaction

Papers are invited from any discipline whether philosophical, theological-religious, sociological, psychological, legal, political, and on any issue arising out of these intellectual challenges:

– Developments within religious traditions in response to secularity

– Conflicts and divisions within religious traditions in meeting the new conditions for religious beliefs

– Differing political frameworks for regulating interaction between state and religion

– Legal matters arising from separation of church and state

– Religious traditions as challenging dominant models of secular ethics, in particular a possible bias towards individualism

– The problems of building human community and countering fragmentation in conditions of a secular culture

– Fundamentalism as response and resistance to secularity; recourse to violence

– Secularisation in relation to neo-colonialism

– Responses of particular countries in the face of secularism – South Africa, Turkey, United States, and others

– Secularism depicted and problematized in fiction – Pamuk’s Snow, Dastgir’s A Small Fortune, for example

– Secularism and particular religious traditions – Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, for example

– Romantic love as a theme in religious responses to secular changes – Pamuk, Dastgir, Shutte’s Conversion, for example

– Transcendence in a framework of immanence in the religious traditions

– African traditional thought and response to secularism

– Debates between science and religion – open and closed versions of neo-Darwinism

– Studies of a contemporary writer on these theological themes: Karen Armstrong; Keith Ward; Mustafa Akyol; Mark Johnston; for example; or on the ethical themes: Alisdair MacIntyre, Herbert
McCabe, Marilynn Robinson, for example

– Philosophical frameworks for fruitful dialogue between secular culture and religious traditions: B. Lonergan; Charles Taylor; and others

For more details please contact:

Professor John Patrick Giddy
University of Kwazulu-Natal
South Africa
Email: Giddyj [at]

Event: Second Asian Conference on Ethics, Religion and Philosophy, to be held from March 30-April 1 2012

Please find details below of the Second Asian Conference on Ethics, Religion and Philosophy, to be held from March 30-April 1 2012. As suggested by its introduction, Japan provides a cultural setting where religion and the secular meet so it may be of interest to those scholars of secular moral and ethical frameworks.

The International Academic Forum in conjunction with its global partners is proud to announce the Second Asian Conference on Ethics, Religion and Philosophy, to be held from March 30-April 1 2012, at the Ramada Osaka Hotel, Osaka, Japan.

Hear the latest research, publish before a global audience, present in a supportive environment, network, engage in new relationships, experience Japan, explore Osaka and Kyoto, join a global academic community.


Where better than Japan to explore dynamic and exciting cultural collisions of East and West?  As the first and only developed non-Western country, Japan is an amazing juxtaposition of cultures, of ancient and modern, and of religious and secular. As such it is the perfect backdrop to what promises to be an exciting interdisciplinary and intercultural discussion, based around questions of Ethics, Religion and Philosophy.

The aim of this International Conference is to encourage academics, scholars and practitioners representing a exciting diversity of countries, cultures, and religion  to meet and exchange ideas and views in a forum encouraging respectful dialogue. By bringing together a number of university scholars working throughout Japan, Asia, and beyond to share ideas, ACERP 2012 will afford the opportunity for renewing old acquaintances, making new contacts, and networking across higher education and beyond.

As with IAFOR’s other events, and in line with its “Education Without Borders” initiative, academics working in Japan and Asia will be encouraged to forge working relationships with each other, as well as with colleagues from Europe, the US, and beyond, facilitating partnerships across borders.






We hope you can join us in Osaka in 2012!

  The Reverend Professor Stuart D. B Picken

Order of the Sacred Treasure, B.D., Ph.D., F.R.A.S.

Chairman, Japan Society of Scotland,

Chairman of the IAFOR International Advisory Board

ACERP 2012 Conference Chair

Religion For Atheists

Public Lecture : Religion for Atheists

Thursday 2 February, 6.30 – 8.00pm

Old Theatre, Old Building, LSE

Alain de Botton, author of non-fiction essays on themes ranging from love and travel to architecture and philosophy. He founded The School of Life and Living Architecture

Chair: Simon Glendinning, Reader in European Philosophy, European Institute, LSE and Director of the Forum for European Philosophy

Is it possible to remain a committed atheist but nevertheless benefit from the wisdom of religion? Marking the publication of his new book Religion for Atheists, Alain de Botton will argue that religion still has some very important things to teach the secular world even if we reject its supernatural claims. He proposes that we look to religions for insights into how we might live in and arrange our societies.

Podcasts of most FEP events are available online after the event. They can be accessed at

All events are free and open to all without registration

For further information contact Juliana Cardinale: 020 7955 7539

Forum for European Philosophy

Cowdray House, Room G.05, European Institute

London School of Economics, WC2A 2AE