3rd Biennial Conference on Religion and Politics

Religion and Politics in the Context of "Epochal Change"

Are We Witnessing the Birth of a New Paradigm?

25-26 November 2021

The idea and aim of the conference

The aim of the conference is to reflect on the changes that are currently taking place in the relationship between religion and politics. These changes, as it seems, are not only of cosmetic nature, but concern the very paradigm of these relations shaped in Western culture in the modern era. The source of these changes seems to lie in the political sphere, which not only undergoes progressive secularization, but also breaks with European metaphysics. However, in a peculiar feedback loop they also affect the self-consciousness of Western religious communities, including the Catholic Church. The redefinition in the political sphere of such categories as truth, dignity of the person, human rights, marriage, and family is accompanied by a disruption of their meaning also in the doctrines of Christian communities. Basic ethical principles often give way to pragmatic reasons (e.g., in the dispute about abortion, euthanasia, surrogacy, sexual orientation), not only in politics, but also in church practice. It seems that the change is so significant that the use of the term “epochal change” proposed by Pope Francis seems justified.

During our conference, we would like to trace this process, paying particular attention to four of its dimensions.
The first concerns the presence and role of religion in international organizations at the universal and European level. Are the activities of representatives of religious communities in these organizations changing and in what way? What impact do these organizations have on the life of religious communities?
Second, the current state of European integration, once initiated by Christian politicians. Is it reasonable to claim that we are dealing with an anti-Christian turn? If so, to what extent do Christian institutions (Christian Democrats, religious communities) participate in this process? Would Robert Schuman, a candidate for the altars, be considered a religious extremist today?
The third concerns the changes occurring in the relationship between religion and identity (national, European). Do the reorganization of the political sphere mean that states can manage without the “help” of religion, or do they replace it with a secular surrogate in the form of ideology? Or maybe contemporary politics does not need communities at all, limiting itself to managing the atomized human mass?
The fourth, refers to the treatment of religious freedom during the pandemic. Is religious freedom a special category among human rights, and therefore in principle should not be restricted even in the case of emergencies, or is it simply one of many rights whose scope is determined by the state? Must it therefore give way not only to public health, but also to other goods deemed more important by the authorities? In many countries, religious goods are not included in the category of so-called essential goods.

Is it possible, then, to arrange the relationship between religion and politics along new lines that respect the identity of each and its specific contribution to the common good, or will we witness a new conflict, as in the French Revolution or under communism? Or will the line of conflict not be between the state and religious communities, but across political and religious communities?

We invite you to submit papers for the conference. They may be devoted to the above issues, as well as to other dimensions of the problem of potential paradigm shift that interests us this year (such as the resurgence of so-called secular religions; the situation of non-Western religious traditions, especially Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism, in the context of “epochal change,” etc.). We also invite presentations of current research in the political science of religion. As is tradition at our conferences, parallel panels on current research on religion and politics will be held alongside the main sessions – see Registration.

Keynotes

Gerhard Müller

is a German cardinal of the Catholic Church. He served as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) from his appointment by Pope Benedict XVI in 2012 until 2017. He was elevated to the rank of cardinal in 2014. Cardinal Müller has published in many fields, including ecumenism, modern theology, the theology of revelation, theological hermeneutics and ecclesiology. To date he has more than 500 academic publications. Amongst the most widely known are his Catholic dogmatics for the study and practice of theology published (Freiburg 1995), Benedict and Francis. Your Service in the Following Peter (Freiburg 2015) and The Hope of the Family. A dialogue with Gerhard Cardinal Müller (San Francisco 2014).

Jane F. Adolphe

is an international human rights lawyer, Professor of Law at Ave Maria School of Law in Naples, Florida and Assistant Professor at the School of Law at Notre Dame University in Sydney, Australia. She also works for the Holy See. She writes on a number of topics in the field of international law and of relevance to the Holy See, and organizes conferences under the auspices of the International Center on Law, Life, Faith and family (ICOLF), the proceedings of which have been published in book form, and co-edited with other scholars, namely: Equality and Non-discrimination: Catholic Roots, Current Challenges (Pickwick: 2019); Persecution and Genocide of Christians in the Middle East: Prevention, Prohibition, and Prosecution (Angelico Press; 2017); and St. Paul and the Natural Law, and Contemporary Legal Theory (Lexington: 2012).

Call for papers

We invite you to submit papers for the conference. They may be devoted to issues described within the conference idea (bookmark “Idea and aim“), i.e. a) the presence and role of religion in international organizations at the universal and European level, b) the current state of European integration, once initiated by Christian politicians, c) relationship between religion and identity (national, European), d) the way of treating religious freedom during the pandemic, as well as to other dimensions of the problem of potential paradigm shift that interests us this year; e) rebirth of the so-called secular religions, f) the situation of non-Western religious traditions, especially Judaism, Islam and Hinduism in the context of “epochal change”. We also invite you to present the current research in the field of political science of religion. As we have in the tradition of our conferences, alongside the main sessions, there will be parallel panels on current research on religion and politics. See the description of the proposed panels

Applications should include the title of the presentation along with the abstract (max. 300 words).

The conference will be held in Polish and English. We provide simultaneous translation for plenary sessions. Parallel panels will be held in one of the two languages mentioned.

Proposals for presentations should be sent via the application form on the conference website www.religionandpolitics.pl by October 20, 2021. Decisions on the admission of papers will be sent to participants by e-mail by October 30, 2021.

Programme conference

The program will be published after October 30, 2021.

Programme Committee

associate professor of political science at the Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw

Emeritus Professor of Politics at London Metropolitan University, UK

Associate Professor of Theology at Emmanuel College in Boston

associate professor of political science at the Institute of Political Sciences of the University of Opole.

professor of social sciences, sociologist, vice-dean of the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences of the Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw

professor of humanities, theologian, and specialist in political science

professor of humanities, historian, and political science specialist

associate professor of political science at Pázmány Péter Catholic University and senior researcher of religion and society at the University of Public Service, Budapest

Senior Lecturer in International Relations and Director of the Freedom of Religion or Belief &Foreign Policy Initiative at the University of Sussex

doctor of humanities and political science specialist; Adjunct Professor of the Institute of International Relations of the University of Warsaw

professor of humanities, sociologist, and political science specialist

Organizers conference

The Institute of Political Science and Public Administration of the Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw

St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross Foundation
“Europa Christiana”

Co-organizers conference

The Faculty of Political Science and International Relations of the University of Warsaw

The Institute of Political Science of the University of Opole

The Institute of Political Science and Public Administration of the University of Zielona Góra

Media patronage

Archival

The following conferences were held in the series devoted to the relations between religion and politics:

Relations between religion and politics as a subject of research of political science

Secularism as a challenge for politics and political science

Conference details

The conference will be organized in Warsaw, Poland, but we offer the possibility of online-only participation (with reduces registration fees).

 

Conference fees:

The conference fee is 35 Euros (online participation) or 70 Euros (in person participation).

The fee covers the cost of meals (lunch 25 November, dinner 25 November, lunch 26 November) and coffee breaks. The costs of travel and accommodation are not included.

 

Bank account for payment:

Fundacja Europa Christiana im. Św. Teresy Benedykty od Krzyża

ul. Wiewiórcza 22
05-402 Otwock

IBAN: PL 66 1090 2590 0000 0001 4753 08 62 (Santander Bank)

SWIFT (BIC code): WBKPPLPP

The transfer title: Surname. Religon and Politics

 

Accomodation:

The hotel closest to the conference venue is Hotel Holiday Park. http://www.hphotel.pl/

 

Organizing committee:

  • Michał Gierycz – chair (m.gierycz@gmail.com)
  • Mariusz Sulkowski – secretary (m.sulkowski@uksw.edu.pl)
  • Patrycja Laszuk – secretary (p.rutkowska@uksw.edu.pl)
  • Michał Kmieć – secretary (michal.kmiec@poczta.fm)
  • Piotr Burgoński (burgonski@onet.eu)

 

Conference venue:

The Institute of Political Science and Public Administration of the Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw (Poland)

1/3 Wóycickiego Street, Warsaw, building no. 23, room 201, second floor (www.politologia.uksw.edu.pl)

 

Maps: