Perspectives | Religion & Public Life
We have become accustomed to the popular notion of “culture wars” with religious and secular worldviews presented as the principal belligerents. But is such a polarised vision of the world really justified? There is no better place to look for an answer to this than in an exploration of current debates by political scientists, human rights lawyers, philosophers and moral theologians about the treatment of religious minorities.
This is one of the reasons why the Tony Blair Faith Foundation is featuring a series of short blogs on questions about the relationship between religion and secularism. The series will run throughout the summer and aims to offer a wide range of opinion and expertise on the subject, drawn from around the world. It tries not to impose any intellectual straitjacket on contributors.
This year’s contributors include, Ian Linden, Dr. Martha Nussbaum, Dr. Nandini Chaterjee, Tony Blair, Caspar Melville, Marlone Araneta , Marshall Louise Alferez, Tinci Singh and Rabbi David Wolpe. Find the latest in the series below.
Professor Nussbaum has kindly allowed us to select some quotes from her book "The New Religious Intolerance" to launch the series. We hope they provide an hors d’oeuvre for the series alongside an inducement to enjoy the main course, the book itself.
Dr. Nandini Chatterjee, examines India’s interesting case of modern state practices where the regulation of religion is concerned. She specifically looks at India’s complex legal and political heritage, using religous education as a case study.
Marshall Louis M. Alferez discusses the Philippines' national sense of spirituality. He examines the tensions that exist between progressive thought and spiritual conservatism and the struggle to find balance.
Rabbi David Wolpe writes of the resurgence of interest in the traditions which spoke to the exercise of power. He goes on to highlight three crucial lessons from the anomalous historical experience of Judaism, regarding the exercise of power.
In a series of three blogs, Hakan Yilmaz examines the relationship between secularisation and democratization in the Islamic World and The Impact of Religious Values on European Public Attitudes towards European Identity and EU-Turkey Relations.
Father Nabil Haddad, Founder and CEO of the Jordanian Interfaith Coexistence Research Center and Jordanian Melkite priest examines how secular values may be upheld in countries with religions based on theocratic understandings of governance.
Sarah Vadar looks at the relationship between religion and secularism and argues that there are no simple answers to questions about the role that religion and secularism play or should play in the public sphere.
Mark Lagon looks at the gap between voiced values and political displeasure. He examines the room for tolerance and the way toward enlightened pluralism while highlighting how a resolution in the UN Human Rights Council offers lessons for religion and values in public life.
Shenaz Bunglawala discusses the difficulty that many religious people fine when entering the public sphere. She asks whether or not the better question to ask is, “How do we set the terms for a new framework of cohabitation.”
Dr. Olena Bogdanova discusses Ukraine's national religiosity and the difference between religious devotion and religious affiliation. She examines distinctions between religious practice, religious affiliation, and religious belief.
As part of our series, Julie Clague examines how a specific religious identity might affect moral identity and looks at research into the various ways that religion might influence moral identity across a variety of subject disciplines.