There is a visible change in the way of acting and role of international organisation at the universal and European level. On the one hand, the leading role of states within those organisations is more and more challenged by growing role of different kind of other entities (like NGO or quasi-representative bodies [i.e. in EU European Parliament]). On the other hand, the impact of those organisations, especially in Europe, more than ever influences the domestic politics. During our conference we would like to discuss those and other changes and their impact on religious communities:
a) Are the activities of representatives of religious communities in these organizations changing and in what way?
b) What impact do these organizations have on the life of religious communities?
c) How to judge growing role of international organisations in the context of globalisation?
d) What kind of axiology stays behind policies of international organisations?
European integration process was initiated by Christian politicians. Nonetheless, already in 2003, during the constitutional debate, recalling Christian foundation of Europe was not allowed. Two decades after that debate situation seems to be much more problematic. One can easily imagine that Robert Schuman, a candidate for the altars, could be considered a religious extremist today. It seems then worthy to discuss:
a) Is it reasonable to claim that we are dealing with an anti-Christian turn?
b) If so, to what extent do Christian institutions (Christian Democrats, religious communities) participate in this process?
c) What are the reasons of change to approach to Christianity within EU?
d) How rooted in Christianity principles of European integration (like solidarity, subsidiarity, unity in diversity, dignity of man) are understood in EU today?
Religion has traditionally been an important element of national identity, contributing to the legitimisation of political power, providing an axiological minimum. Does the reorganisation of the political sphere mean that states today manage without the “help” of religion, or do they replace it with a secular surrogate in the form of ideology? Or perhaps contemporary liberal politics does not need communities at all, limiting itself to managing the atomised mass of humanity? In the age of secularisation, has ceased religion to be an important element of national identity? Does a national identity need references to a living faith or are certain elements of religious folklore sufficient? Can we say the same about Europe? Is it indifferent to European identity whether this continent is dominated by Christians, Muslims, or atheists? Can the relationship between Europe and Christianity be seen in the same way as the relationship between Israel and Judaism?
Restrictions of religious freedom during COVID-19 pandemic were unprecedented. In important part there were supported by religious leaders. Considering special character of religious freedom within human rights and role of religious practices for religious persons, many questions arise:
a) 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?
b) Must it therefore give way not only to public health, but also to other goods deemed more important by the authorities?
c) Should be religious goods not included in the category of so-called essential goods (as it has place in many countries)?
d) What could we learn about current approach to religion of societies, states, and religious communities from their reactions to the pandemic?
The term ‘secular religion’ was coined in the 1930s to describe the dogmas, rituals, and symbols of modern dictatorships, but since then its meaning has been expanded to include a variety of other political and social phenomena (from economy to ecology, social justice movements, entertainment, scientism, or trans- and posthumanism). The concept nevertheless remains vague, and its analytical value hotly debated. We therefore invite contributions that address one of the following topics:
a) the conceptual problems of secular religion (and related terms like quasi-religion, surrogate religion, political religion, etc.);
b) the history of secular/religious comparisons from the late 18th century to the present day;
c) contemporary examples of secular religions either in academic literature or in popular discourse;
d) the significance of secular religions’ discourse for political science, political philosophy, political theology, or religious studies in an age of ‘epochal change.’
Does it make sense to speak of an ‘epochal change’ regarding non-European religions? Are Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism, for example, also undergoing profound modernisation? What would they consist in: linking religion with nationalism, making religion a mobilising factor for political conquest, “hollowing out” religion from ethical elements, reducing religion to the role of a folklore? Are religions in the age of globalisation moving towards commonality? Do projects such as the “house of monotheistic religions” have a chance of acceptance in religious communities?
As is tradition at our conferences, we invite presentations of current research in the political science of religion. Parallel panels on current research on religion and politics will be held alongside the main sessions. We invite proposals in all areas of political science of religion:
a) Theoretical and methodological problems of political science of religion;
b) Empirical studies of religion-politics/international relations;
c) Comparative studies of phenomena at the crossroads of religion and politics.