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Category Archives: Religion & Secularism

Olivier Roy on Transformation of Islamists

Olivier Roy on Transformation of Islamists

Foreign Policy has published an excerpt from Olivier Roy’s essay in the book The Islamists Are Coming: Who They Really Are, edited by Robin Wright, which will be released on April 18, 2012. Explaining how Islam and democracy are now interdependent, he writes: The debate over Islam and democracy used to be a chicken-and-egg issue: Which came first?  Democracy has ...

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Conference on the Work of Charles Taylor – Audio Proceedings

Conference on the Work of Charles Taylor – Audio Proceedings

To celebrate the prominent Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor’s scholarly work at his 80th birthday, a major international conference was held on March 29 – 31, 2012 at Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal. The conference featured ten sessions with presentations on many aspects of Taylor’s work in political science and philosophy. The audio files of conference speeches are now available online here. ...

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Do Muslims Prefer ‘Religious Democracy’?

Pippa Norris has a new online research paper that examines the popular supprt for secular democracy in Muslim majority countries: Muslim support for secular democracy [PDF] Here is the abstract: Stirrings of popular unrest during the ‘Arab spring’ have renewed debate about the regimes most likely to replace traditional autocracies in the region. This development raises many questions, in particular, ...

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Alfred Stepan on Building Democracy in Muslim-Majority Countries

Alfred Stepan on Building Democracy in Muslim-Majority Countries

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYBAhxd4PB8&w=530&h=330]   This is a Harvard University’s Ash Center Democracy Seminar, held on February 2, 2012. Alfred Stepan (Columbia) elaborates on his research building democracy in Muslim-majority countries, with special emphasis on Indonesia, Senegal, and Tunisia. He also discusses Muslims in Hindu-majority India.

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New Book on Turkish Democracy

New Book on Turkish Democracy

Columbia University Press has released a new collection of essays on Turkish democracy: Democracy, Islam, and Secularism in Turkey Edited by Ahmet T. Kuru and Alfred Stepan Publication date: February 14, 2012 224 pages Excerpt from Introduction: This volume aims to provide comparative insights into this critical period in Turkish and European history. We also believe that our analyses will ...

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Catholicism and Democracy

Catholicism and Democracy

Princeton University Press publishes this week the English translation of Emile Perreau-Saussine’s posthumous work on Catholic political thought, Catholicism and Democracy: An Essay in the History of Political Thought (see google preview here). The original French text was published last year in Paris by Les Éditions du Cerf, with a preface by Pierre Manent. You can read an excerpt from French ...

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Constitutionalism in Islamic Countries

Constitutionalism in Islamic Countries

Constitutionalism in Islamic Countries: Between Upheaval and Continuity Edited by Rainer Grote and Tilmann Röder (both Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, Heidelberg) Oxford University Press Publication date: December 29, 2011 768 pages Description: Constitutionalism in Islamic Countries: Between Upheaval and Continuity examines the question of whether something similar to an “Islamic constitutionalism” has emerged out ...

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Religion and Democratization in the Context of the Arab Spring

Religion and Democratization in the Context of the Arab Spring

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tOwL8Vc2w0&w=530&h=330]   This is a symposium organized by Islam in the West Program and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University, on November 10, 2011. Speakers Murat Borovali, Istanbul Bilgi University Islam and Democratization in Turkey Jocelyne Cesari, Harvard University State-Islam Relations and the Consequences for Democratization: Examples from Iraq and Egypt Robert Hefner, Boston University Shari’a Politics and ...

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Peter Gordon on Habermas on Religion

Peter Gordon (Harvard) reviews Jürgen Habermas’s recent writings on religion in a long piece at The New Republic, entitled What Hope Remains? Excerpt: What is most striking in Habermas’s recent writings on religion is that he seems more than willing to meet the conservative critics of secularization half way. He disagrees with the philosopher Hans Blumenberg, the author of a monumental ...

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Robert Talisse on ‘Faith in Democracy’

Robert Talisse on ‘Faith in Democracy’

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cR6C1fqlJII&w=530&h=330]   This is a lecture given by Robert Talisse on December 7, 2011 at Vanderbilt University. He examines arguments from religious and secular political philosophers on the proper role of religious conviction in a democratic society, and proposes a moral argument for keeping religious and civic obligations separate.

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