Upcoming Speaking Engagement, Conference ‘Christianity and the Future of our Societies’, Leuven, Belgium, 15-19 August 2016

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‘The event is jointly organized by the Evangelische Theologische Faculteit, Leuven and the Association for Reformational Philosophy and tackles issues facing the future of our societies. The focus of the conference is to analyze philosophically and theologically what Christianity can contribute to the well-being and flourishing of societies, and people within societies, in the 21st century, in very diverse contexts around the world. The aim of the conference is to discuss with scholars from all over the world not only the significance of religion and Christianity in general, but also the contribution of Christian theology and Christian philosophical thinking in particular for contemporary societies in very different contexts around the globe.’

The paper I will be presenting during the conference is provisionally entitled: ‘Christianity and the Future of Religious Freedom’.

On the Association of Reformational Philosophy:

‘The Association of Reformational Philosophy (ARP) has its roots in the 16th century Reformation and its direct origin in the 19th neo-Calvinist revival (in which Abraham Kuyper was a pivotal figure). One of the goals of the ARP is “to contribute to the deepening of philosophical insight in created reality, and to make these insights fruitful for academic studies and for society”. Key founding fathers of the movement were the Dutch philosophers Herman Dooyeweerd and Dirk Vollenhoven. The movement has grown, and is today globally engaged in academic dialogue between Christianity and the contemporary world, and its animating intellectual, political and economic ideas and leaders. It does so in the expectation that Christianity has important and timely insights to offer.’

On the Evangelische Theologische Faculteit:

‘The Evangelische Theologische Faculteit (ETF) in Leuven, Belgium, has developed into an important European education and research center for Christian theology that seeks relevance to the contemporary world and its concerns. In ETF’s international master’s and doctoral program, students and professors from a wide variety of cultural and denominational backgrounds come from all over the world to engage in stimulating dialogue.’

For more information, and registration, see http://www.cfs2016.org/.

Participant, event ‘Research on Religion, crucial for Europe’s societies’, Brussels, 17 March 2016

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‘The LERU Deans of Theology and Religious Studies have written a statement on the importance of research on religion for Europe’s societies. The event aims at translating this statement into practice by showcasing excellent examples. The event is also meant to discuss the statement with a wider public. Policy makers, research funders or anyone with an interest in SSH research in general or religion research in particular, is very welcome to participate.

Programme

10.30 am Registration

11.00

Welcome by Kurt Deketelaere, Secretary-General of LERU

11.10

Introduction by Johannes Zachhuber, Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology, University of Oxford

11.30

Religious recognition, presentation by Risto Saarinen, Professor of Ecumenics, University of Helsinki

12.00

Religion in crisis and Roman Catholic self-definition, presentation by Joris Geldhof, Professor Pastoral and Empirical Theology, Mathijs Lamberigts, Dean of the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies and Terrence Merrigan, Professor Systematic Theology and the Study of Religions, KU Leuven

12.30

Lunch

1.00 pm

Healthcare Values Partnership, presentation by Andrew Papanikitas, NIHR Clinical Lecturer in General Practice, University of Oxford

1.30

Muslim-Christian dialogue, presentation by Mona Siddiqui, Professor of Islamic and Inter-religious Studies and Assistant Principal Religion and Society, University of Edinburgh

2.00

Q&A followed by discussion

3.00

End’

Source: http://www.leru.org/index.php/public/calendar/research-on-religion-crucial-for-europes-societies/.

For the stement by the LERU Deans of Theology and Religious Studies, see: http://www.leru.org/files/general/Research%20on%20Religion%20crucial%20for%20Europe’s%20societies_statement_February%202016_docx1.pdf.

About LERU:

‘Since its founding in 2002, the League of European Research Universities (LERU) has emerged as a prominent advocate for the promotion of basic research at European universities. LERU strongly believes that basic research plays an essential role in the innovation process and significantly contributes to the progress of society.

LERU aims at furthering the understanding and knowledge of politicians, policy makers and opinion leaders about the role and activities of research-intensive universities. Drawing on the impressive academic potential and expertise of its network, LERU has a strong and significant impact on research policy in Europe.’

Upcoming Speaking Engagement: The Cardiff Festival of Law and Religion 2016

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‘Registration is now open for the Cardiff Festival of Law and Religion on May 5th and 6th at Cardiff University. This celebrates the twenty-fifth anniversary of the LLM in Canon Law at Cardiff University, the first degree of its type in a British University since the Reformation.

A number of events are being held to reflect upon how the study of Law and Religion has developed over the last twenty-five years and the likely future trajectory. This includes the 2016 Law and Religion Scholars Network (LARSN) Conference, a keynote address by Professor David Little, a celebratory dinner and the launch of F Cranmer, M Hill, C Kenny and R Sandberg (ed) The Confluence of Law and Religion: Interdisciplinary Reflections on the Work of Norman Doe (Cambridge University Press, 2016).’

The paper I will be presenting is entitled: ‘The “New Critics of Religious Freedom” and the Inspiration they Unintentionally Provide’:

The ‘New Critics of Religious Freedom’ have become increasingly vocal of late. The first part of the proposed paper will summarise their main criticisms, some of which contain a considerable amount of truth, such as that the right to freedom of religion or belief has historically been heavily influenced by Christianity in general and Protestantism in particular.

The second part of the paper will argue that at first sight there also appears to be one major downside to the criticisms. As it turns out to be hardly possible to isolate the right to freedom of religion or belief from the general idea of a democratic constitutional state, what the critics are really questioning is the current state of Western liberal democracy as a whole.

The third part of the paper will propose that the reason for this close connection between religious freedom and the democratic constitutional state lies in the fact that the latter has clearly been influenced by Christianity as well. Still, the new critics of religious freedom may on closer inspection also serve as a source of inspiration for a necessary, theologically driven reform of the central tenets of liberal democracy as it has developed in recent decades.

For the full program of the Festival, see: http://www.law.cf.ac.uk/clr/networks/The%20Cardiff%20Festival%20for%20Law%20and%20Religion%20Full%20Programme.pdf.

For registration, and other information, see: http://www.law.cf.ac.uk/clr/.

Redactioneel, ‘Hoe kan het democratisch ethos worden bevorderd?’

Tijdschrift voor Recht, Religie en Beleid

‘Wanneer de politiek in de kern een ethische aangelegenheid is, kan deze niet zonder een democratisch ethos onder zowel politici als bevolking, in de zin van een cultuur van betrokkenheid op het algemeen belang. De vraag wat er nodig is om het ontstaan dan wel de instandhouding van een dergelijk democratisch ethos te bevorderen, gaat de traditionele grenzen van de rechtswetenschap te buiten. Zij strekt immers verder dan de mogelijke taak van de overheid alleen. Dit leidt wel tot het wonderlijke verschijnsel dat de rechtsgeleerdheid de meest fundamentele puzzel rond een van haar kernbegrippen, de democratie, niet zelfstandig kan oplossen. Hetzelfde geldt overigens voor andere disciplines die zich met democratie bezighouden, zoals de bestuurskunde, de filosofie, de politicologie en de sociologie.

De ethicus Lovin blijkt hier al meer over te melden te hebben, wanneer hij verwijst naar de rol die maatschappelijke instituties kunnen vervullen als kweekvijver voor democratisch ethos. Als democratie een zodanig complex onderwerp blijkt dat ten aanzien daarvan alleen in interdisciplinair verband vooruitgang kan worden geboekt, dan is het een dure academische plicht om die uitdaging aan te gaan. Een tijdschrift als het Tijdschrift voor Religie, Recht en Beleid wil hierin een functie vervullen. Het biedt een forum om vanuit verschillende disciplines, waaronder ook de theologie en de religiewetenschap, het gesprek aan te gaan over deze en andere fundamentele vragen rond democratie en democratisch ethos.’

Zie voor het volledige redactioneel:

http://www.bjutijdschriften.nl/tijdschrift/religierechtenbeleid/2015/3/TvRRB_1879-7784_2015_006_003_001.

Voor een overzicht van de overige bijdragen in dit derde nummer van het tijdschrift uit 2015:

http://www.bjutijdschriften.nl/tijdschrift/religierechtenbeleid/2015/3.

Voor bestelinformatie, ook van losse artikelen, zie:

http://www.bju.nl/juridisch/catalogus/tijdschrift-voor-religie-recht-en-beleid#.

Participant, Kuyper Center Annual Conference 2015 Pre-conference symposium ‘Faith in the Work Place’

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‘Does Christian faith have any impact in the workplace? Does it show in the way that people do their jobs? Should it be given more emphasis, or less? These are some of the questions to be addressed in the third Abraham Kuyper pre-conference symposium on April 15th and 16th 2015. This year, the Abraham Kuyper Center for Theology and Public Life is collaborating with two other organizations whose expertise in this area brings theory and practice into fruitful conversation. The ‘Faith and Work Initiative’ at Princeton University, led by Princeton Seminary graduate David Miller, investigates the ways in which the resources of various religious traditions and spiritual identities shape and inform engagement with diverse workplace issues. The Center for Faith and Work at Redeemer Presbyterian Church New York, headed by David Kim (also a Princeton Seminary graduate, who worked on Abraham Kuyper) seeks to equip individuals of all backgrounds to develop and apply a worldview for work that better serves their profession and industry. Staff from both organizations will make presentations aimed at opening up a wide-ranging discussion of an increasingly important theme for both church and industry.
The ‘Faith in the Workplace’ symposium is open, free of charge, both to participants in the annual Kuyper Conference that follows, and to all interested clergy and laity in the wider Princeton area, as well as students and faculty at Princeton Seminary. (…)
Wednesday 15th April
2pm Welcome and introduction
Dr Gordon Graham, Kuyper Center, PTS

2.15 – 4.45pm

Kuyper returns to NYC: Appropriating Kuyperian Theology to Empower the Scattered Church

Rev. David H. Kim and Bethany Jenkins
Center for Faith & Work
Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York

Thursday 16th April
9.30am – 12noon

Faith & Work: Augustine, Maslow, Nixon, King, and Beyond

Dr David Miller, with Michael Thate and Dennis LoRusso
Faith and Work Initiative,
Center for the Study of Religion, Princeton University’

Source: http://www.ptsem.edu/library/kuyper/default.aspx?id=25769808845.