Symposium: “Religious Freedom and the Common Good” (Washington D.C., Nov. 15)

On November 15, Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs is hosting a symposium titled “Religious Freedom and the Common Good: A Capstone Symposium of the Religious Freedom Project.” The keynote address of the symposium will be delivered by United States Senator Ben Sasse. A brief description of the event follows:

Religious Freedom and the Common Good.jpgAs the culminating symposium of the Religious Freedom Project’s three-year grant from the John Templeton Foundation, this conference will explore the wide-ranging political, economic, and social dimensions of religious freedom and their enduring impact on the global common good. The RFP’s 13 associate scholars and other experts from across the academy will address a range of key questions about the broader implications of religious freedom.

Our symposium will explore the following: To what extent is religious liberty critical for human flourishing? When and how does it contribute to economic prosperity, democratization, and peace? What challenges face religious communities living under repressive governments or hostile social forces? How is the persecution of religion related to other infringements of basic human rights? What is the relationship between religious freedom and violent religious extremism, and is there a role for religious freedom in efforts to undermine radicalization and counter violent religious extremism and terrorism over the long term?

Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) will deliver a keynote address on the promotion of international religious freedom as an urgent global imperative.

Around the Web this Week

Here is a look at some interesting law and religion items from around the web this week:

“Entangled Histories” (Baumgarten et. al., eds.)

In December, the University of Pennsylvania Press will release Entangled Histories:
Knowledge, Authority, and Jewish Culture in the Thirteenth Century edited by Elisheva Baumgarten (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Ruth Mazo Karras (University of Minnesota), and Katelyn Mesler (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität). The publisher’s description follows:

penn-press-logo.jpgFrom Halakhic innovation to blood libels, from the establishment of new mendicant orders to the institutionalization of Islamicate bureaucracy, and from the development of the inquisitorial process to the rise of yeshivas, universities, and madrasas, the long thirteenth century saw a profusion of political, cultural, and intellectual changes in Europe and the Mediterranean basin. These were informed by, and in turn informed, the religious communities from which they arose. In city streets and government buildings, Jews, Christians, and Muslims lived, worked, and disputed with one another, sharing and shaping their respective cultures in the process. The interaction born of these relationships between minority and majority cultures, from love and friendship to hostility and violence, can be described as a complex and irreducible “entanglement.” The contributors to Entangled Histories: Knowledge, Authority, and Jewish Culture in the Thirteenth Century argue that this admixture of persecution and cooperation was at the foundation of Jewish experience in the Middle Ages.

The thirteen essays are organized into three major sections, focusing in turn on the exchanges among intellectual communities, on the interactions between secular and religious authorities, and on the transmission of texts and ideas across geographical, linguistic, and cultural boundaries. Rather than trying to resolve the complexities of entanglement, contributors seek to outline their contours and explain how they endured. In the process, they examine relationships not only among Jewish, Christian, and Muslim communities but also between communities within Judaism—those living under Christian rule and those living under Muslim rule, and between the Jews of southern and northern Europe. The resulting volume develops a multifaceted account of Jewish life in Europe and the Mediterranean basin at a time when economic, cultural, and intellectual exchange coincided with heightened interfaith animosity.

“A New History of African Christian Thought” (Ngong, ed.)

Next month, Routledge will release A New History of African Christian Thought: From Cape to Cairo edited by David Ngong (Baylor University). The publisher’s description follows:

A New History of African Christian Thought.pngDavid Tonghou Ngong offers a comprehensive view of African Christian thought that includes North Africa in antiquity as well as Sub-Saharan Africa from the period of colonial missionary activity to the present. Challenging conventional colonial divisions of Africa, A New History of African Christian Thought demonstrates that important continuities exist across the continent. Chapters written by specialists in African Christian thought reflect the issues—both ancient and modern—in which Christian Africa has impacted the shape of Christian belief from the beginning of the movement up to the present day.