Are religious worldviews still relevant to democracy today? Anglo-American, Dutch, and German perspectives

June 16, 2022 - June 17, 2022
Department of Divinity, University of Cambridge

Lightfoot Room
25 West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DP
United Kingdom

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Workshop: “Are religious worldviews still relevant to democracy today? Anglo-American, Dutch, and German perspectives”

16-17 June 2022

Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge

Organising Committee: Courtney A Kane (Cambridge), Jan van der Stoep (TU Kampen / Wageningen), Marietta van der Tol (Oxford)

As religion continues to challenge both post-Christian and post-secular characterisations of liberal democracies, the question arises what is the contribution of religious worldviews to democracy today? Under the influence of processes of secularisation, de-institutionalisation and individualisation, forms and expressions of Christianity have fragmented into a multitude of spaces of identity-formation. This fragmentation implies a measure of normative disintegration, and challenges the role that religious worldviews might play in liberal democracies. This process is shared by many other religions in Europe, or even “the West”, and it is amplified in political spaces, which tend to favour the resolution of specific issues over a coherent story of (religious) political thought.

Moreover, the relevance of religious worldviews is sometimes contested, for example on the basis of Rawlsian political procedure (Weithman and Audi). This perspective has in turn been criticised for its exclusion of religious arguments and worldviews (Wolterstorff and Böckenförde) Alternatives to Rawls tend to affirm the need for religious worldviews in a post-Christian and post-secular society. This, however, does not mean that the role of religious worldviews would be similar in all liberal democracies, especially in the light of different political and legal cultures between Anglo-American, German and Dutch contexts. What are the current pressures on the (re)production of religious worldviews? And how can “worldviews” integrate or accommodate personal experiences and emotions, especially in the context of more traditional sources, which may include nature, reason, Scripture, tradition etc? What, if any, is the future of religious worldviews?

This workshop is open to paper proposals from scholars as well as graduate students from divinity, politics/political theory, law, philosophy, and history. Please send your 250 word abstract and CV to [email protected] by 15 April 2022. Papers should not exceed 3,000 words for a thirty-minute presentation. There are limited funds for need-based travel bursaries. Applicants for financial assistance should include a budget and state specific amounts requested. Decisions will be released by 1 May 2022.

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June 6, 2022, 5:00pm EET

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