Book review: ‘The Political Theology of European Integration,’ by Mark R. Royce

‘The central question political scientist Mark R. Royce addresses in his book, The Political Theology of European Integration: Comparing the Influence of Religious Histories on European Policies, is whether the process of European integration as it has developed since the Second World War, and continues to develop as a result of issues such as Brexit, is also influenced by political theological considerations. He defines “political theology” as “the authoritative application of sacred ideas to public policies and discourses” (p. 1). In the context of Royce’s study, which focuses on 17 Western European countries, in particular Roman Catholicism and the Lutheran, Calvinist, and Anglican forms of Protestantism are relevant.’

Read the whole book review, published on the Religion & Liberty Transatlantic Blog, here:   https://acton.org/publications/transatlantic/2017/08/18/book-review-political-theology-european-integration-mark-r

Paper Presentation during Journal of Law, Religion & State International Conference on ‘The Rule of Law – Religious Perspectives’, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel, 20-22 November 2016

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For the program of the conference, see:

The call for papers for the conference can be found here:

http://www.ssrn.com/update/lsn/lsnann/ann16021.html.

The original paper proposal which I submitted, read as follows:

Christianity, Liberalism, and the Rule of Law

During the last decade or so the discipline of constitutional law has changed considerably. It has become more comparative, interdisciplinary and theoretical. What has not happened yet, however, is that constitutional lawyers have become more (openly) aware of their philosophical presuppositions. Thus, it is still commonplace for central concepts of the discipline, such as the rule of law, to be treated as if they do not at least partly have their historical roots in religions like Christianity, or as if such religions currently no longer have anything to contribute to these concepts.

This is remarkable, given that for example Michel Rosenfeld has had to concede ‘that there is no consensus on what “the rule of law” stands for, even if it is fairly clear what it stands against. An important part of the problem is that “the rule of law” is an “essentially contestable concept,” with both descriptive and prescriptive content over which there is a lack of widespread agreement.’

In light of the above, the proposed paper will depart from the idea that the concept of the rule of law is somehow intimately connected with Western liberal tradition. As Michael W. McConnell has argued, the history of liberalism in turn goes back further than the Enlightenment of the 18th century. It is probably more accurate to regard the 16th century Reformation as having given rise to liberalism, with its emphasis on the idea of individual conscience.

McConnell has also elaborated upon the similarities between some of the core doctrines of liberalism and particular Christian theological principles. Of these different connections, the one between the notion of limited government and the idea of the separation of church and state will be singled out, i.e. libertas ecclesiae or the ‘freedom of the church’. As McConnell puts it, ‘[i]n this view, religious freedom comes into being not as a result of ontological individualism but as a result of the jurisdictional separation between these two sets of authorities. (…) While theological in its origin, the two-kingdoms idea lent powerful support to a more general liberal theory of government. The separation of church from state is the most powerful possible refutation of the notion that the political sphere is omnicompetent – that it has rightful authority over all of life. If the state does not have power over the church, it follows that the power of the state is limited.’

The proposed paper will argue that this prescriptive meaning ascribed to the concept of rule of law by Christianity takes on a renewed relevance at a time when sovereignty claims by religious institutions are increasingly regarded by their critics as incompatible with the idea of state sovereignty being the only legitimate source of sovereignty. Thus, it is unfortunately presented as if a clear choice will need to be made between the jurisdictional approach to religious freedom and the modern liberal view that sees sovereignty within the liberal democratic state as essentially monistic in nature.

Paper-presentation during conference on ‘Religion and Civil Society’, Harvard Law School

I will be attending the conference on ‘Religion and Civil Society; The Changing Faces of "Religion" and "Secularity"’ this week, organized by the Institute for Culture and Society (ICS) of the University of Navarra (Pamplona, Spain), at Harvard Law School. For the conference, which was announced earlier on this blog, I co-authored a paper with Jaco van den Brink on ‘The State, Civil Society and Religious Freedom’. The final program appears below:  


7th June


PLENARY SESSIONS AND DISCUSSION


9:00

"The changing faces of religion and secularism"
Mary Ann Glendon
Learned Hand Professor of Law at Harvard University Law School, Cambridge.

10:00

"Parenthood in God and civil society"
Rafael Alvira
Professor of History of Philosophy at ICS University of Navarra

11:00

"Religious civilization and civil religion in a multicultural world"
Carmelo Vigna
Professor of Moral Philosophy at Università Ca Foscari of Venice

12:30 Lunch

WORKSHOPS


14:00

Workshop 1
Religious Freedom in Contemporary Juridical Context

Chair: Francisca Pérez Madrid, Professor of Law. University of Barcelona

Crosses and Culture: State-Sponsored Religious Displays in the United States and Europe
Mark L. Movsesian
Frederick A. Whitney Professor and Director at the Center for Law and Religion, St. John’s University, New York.

The State, Civil Society and Religious Freedom
Hans-Martien ten Napel
Assistant Professor of Constitutional and Administrative Law at Leiden University.

A Cookbook of Ways to Dissolve Religious Associations through Law
Iain T. Benson
Senior Associate Counsel of Miller Thomson LLP in Canada. University of the Free State of South Africa.

Freedom of Religion and Belief: Is there a Role for the European External Action Service?
Pasquale Annicchino
Research Fellow at Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute, San Domenico di Fiesole.

Forum Internum and Forum Externum and the Negotiation of the Public-Private Divide in Canon Law and Public International Law with a Particular Reference to the Jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights
Peter Petkoff
Research Fellow. Director of Law, Religion and International Relations Programme. Regent’s Park College, Oxford. Brunel University Law School, West London.

Religious freedom and the cultural dimension of religion
Francisca Pérez Madrid
Professor of Law at University of Barcelona.

16:00

Workshop II
Medieval Political Theology: Theory & Practice.
Chair: Jaume Aurell. Dean of the School of Philosophy and Social Studies, University of Navarra

How did "Political Theology" exist in the Middle Ages?
Montserrat Herrero
Associate Professor of Political Philosophy at ICS, University of Navarra.

Ernst H. Kantorowicz and Gabriel Naudé: from "Mysteries of State" to "Coups d’État"
Antonio Bento
Associate Professor of Political Philosophy at University of Beira Interior.

Places of Power: the City and the Court in Late Medieval Iberia
Rita Costa Gomes
Associate Professor of Medieval History at Towson University

Just War and Criticism of Crusade in Western Medieval Society
Martin Aurell

Professor of Medieval History at University of Poitiers. Institut Universitaire de France

King Peter of Aragon Self-coronation (1336) and its Historical, Liturgical and Iconographical Representations
Jaume Aurell
Associate Professor of Medieval History at University of Navarra

The iconology of breaking medieval seal matrices
Alfons Puigarnau
Associate Professor of Theory of Art at International University of Catalunya

18:30 Dinner

PLENARY SESSION AND DISCUSSION


20:00

"Culture and Civil Society"
Robert Royal
Faith & Reason Institute, Washington, D.C.


8th June


PLENARY SESSIONS III AND DISCUSSION


9:00

Defending Civil Society: Religious Advocacy in American National Politics
Allen Hertzke
Presidential Professor of Political Science at University of Oklahoma

10:00

Why Religion and ‘the Secular’ cannot be Separated
Jean Bethke Elstain
Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Social and Political Ethics at the Divinity School. Department of Political Science and the Committee on International Relations at the University of Chicago

11:00

The Theologico-Political Problem Today
Russell Hittinger
William K. Warren Professor of Catholic Studies. Research Professor of Law at University of Tulsa

12:30 Lunch

WORKSHOPS


14:00

Workshop III
Liberalism, Capitalism and Religion

Chair: Raquel Lázaro, University of Navarra

David Hume and True Religion
Gordon Graham
Henry Luce III Professor of Philosophy and the Arts at Princeton Theological Seminary

Living toguther differently: beyond the liberal synthesis
Adam Seligman
Professor of Religion at Boston University. Research Associate at Institute for Study of Economic Culture, Boston University.

The role of Religion according Mandeville and Hutcheson
Julio Seoane
Associate Professor of Philosophy at University of Alcalá

The Ethical Gap in Modern Ideals of Citizenship: A Diagnosis and a Proposal
David Thunder
Visiting Assistant Professor at Villanova University

An analysis of the history of Western Man: Personhood, Individuality & Transformation
Robert de Simone
Research Fellow at ICS at University of Navarra-New York

God and Religion in a commercial society, according to Adam Smith
Raquel Lázaro
Associate Professor of Modern Philosophy at University of Navarra

16:30

Workshop IV
The Media and the Process of Secularization of Society
Chair: Mercedes Montero and Mónica Codina, University of Navarra

Freedom of speech as naturalized religious freedom: historical antecedents and views from social pragmatism
Mariano Navarro
Chief of Communication Research Division at Panamericana University, México D. F.

Free speech and the rationality of public communication in a changing era
Mónica Codina
Associate Professor of Ethics and Communication at University of Navarra

˜Without religion, there is no peace". Religious freedom in the catholic and liberal newspapers in Mexico City (1833-1857)
Inigo Fernández
Research Fellow at Panamericana University, México D. F.

The secularization of society and the role of the media. The "agenda-Gramsci" in the Spanish newspaper El Pais
Mercedes Montero
Associate Professor of Journalism History at ICS, University of Navarra

18:00

Workshop V
Monotheism & Violence
Chair: Alejandra Vanney. Austral University of Buenos Aires. (Argentina)

Monotheistic Trinitarianism, Theological Exclusivism, and Nonviolence: An Overlooked Alternative
Peter D. Anders
Instructor in Theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary Boston

Monotheism and Political Violence: Reflections on the Argumentative Sustainability of a Causal Claim
Govert Buijs
Lecturer in Social and Political Philosophy at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Islam, Intolerance and Violence; a view from the West
Javier Gil
Ph D. ICS, University of Navarra

The One True God: Making the Truth about Monotheism Count
Alejandra Vanney
Associate Professor of Political Science at the Austral University of Buenos Aires

20:00 Dinner

Source: http://www.unav.es/centro/religion-sociedad/programa-congreso-harvard.