quinta-feira, 26 de janeiro de 2012


7th. – 8th. June 2012
At Harvard University

An international conference convened by the Culture and Society Institute of the University of Navarra and to be held at Harvard University Law School.

Keynote speakers:
Mary Ann Glendon (Harvard University)
Rafael Alvira (Universidad de Navarra)
Carmelo Vigna (Università Ca Foscari de Venezia)
Allen Hertzke (University of Oklahoma)
Jan Bethke Elstain (University of Chicago)
Robert Royal (Institute for Faith & Reason, Washington, D.C.)
Russell Hittinger (University of Tulsa)

We invite proposals for presentations (maximum length: one page), along with a short CV (maximum length: two pages), by April 15, 2012.Papers will have a reading time of 20 minutes. A selection of abstracts will be made and the authors will be notified by the end of April.

WORKSHOP I: Religious Freedom in Contemporary Juridical Context
Chair: Francisca Pérez Madrid (University of Barcelona)
e-mail: fperez_madrid@ub.edu

This Workshop invites all those researchers who would like to submit a paper on topics related with religious freedom or with contemporary examples or problems related to religious freedom in a particular juridical order. Both systematic papers and those focused on one particular author or a particular juridical context will be accepted.

WORKSHOP II: Medieval Political Theology: theory and practice.
Chair: Jaume Aurell (University of Navarra)
e-mail: saurell@unav.es

The topics of interest to be covered in this Workshop include, but are not limited to:1) Theory on the concept of Political Theology: Medieval, Early Modern, Modern. 2) The practice, historical evolution and forms of political theology in Medieval Europe: The royal symbolic space: the court; Royal ceremonies and their symbolic value: coronations, self-coronations and the secularization of royal power; Visual elements of royal symbolism: emblems and royal signs; The anthropological dimension of royalty: festivals; The contestation of hegemonic royal political theology: the critique of the crusades; The iconology of royal power: the fracture of the royal seal; Royal image: political and theological symbolism; Liturgy; The theological and symbolical power of literary and historical discourses.

WORKSHOP III: The Media and the Process of Secularization of Society
Chair: Mercedes Montero and Mónica Codina (University of Navarra)
e-mail: mmontero@unav.es

Gramsci proposed the conquest of civil society through the material transformation of their cultural foundations. His main objective was the creation of a new fully secularized common sense to replace the traditional, based on religious and metaphysical content. The tools to achieve this would be media, film, theater and educational organizations. In these institutions, key positions would be held by organic intellectuals, in charge of building the new culture and introducing it to the masses. The proletarian revolution and the control of the means of production were no longer the state’s competition. Now it is task, was to lead the Cultural Revolution and gain the means to produce and spread culture. Thus, from the 70's and 80's, social democratic governments abandoned the struggle in the economic and labor fronts to focus on the cultural conquest of society, in materialistic code. It was important to gain an extensive and benevolent public opinion of the new ideas they wanted to establish.These theories of Antonio Gramsci have been the basis of some processes of secularization developed in various countries of Europe and Latin America. In this sense, the role played by media and leftist intellectuals, has been critical. This workshop invites all those researchers who would like to submit a paper on historical examples of secularization processes led by the media.

WORKSHOP IV: Liberalism, Capitalism and Religion
Chair: Raquel Lázaro (University of Navarra)
e-mail: rlazaro@unav.es

There are only few societies in which religion has not played a role, even a central one. When this has been the case, however, it is easy to see that politics tends unavoidably to assume the role proper to religion. Taken as a social category, religion is some kind of practical knowledge about the origins and the end, i.e. knowledge of the totality, some kind of revelation about the ultimate meaning of things. For that reason, the political system that does without religion and, at the same time, pretends to rule people’s life, surreptitiously takes on the form of a religion. Some have thus characterized Marxism, for instance. Political liberalism and capitalism, however, did not pretend in their beginnings to wipe off religion from social life, but to use it. The form of capitalism which has its starting point in the 18th century with Adam Smith attributes great importance to the presence of religion in commercial societies. For him, the existence of religions –in plural– is desirable and useful for society, because they reinforce morality, without which no society can live in its optimal condition. And, on the other hand, if there are many religions and none of them gathers the majority of citizens, there will be no religious power that competes with political power. Moreover, early modernity and the Enlightenment redefined the spheres of religion and politics so that they their objects are different and their functions tend to part more and more. The interesting point is to find out which kind of religion a liberal and capitalist society tolerates and also which role religion is recognized in the social space.To speak about religion is to refer to the existence of God. To speak about political or economical power is to refer to the Caesar. This tension is as old as history: What must be given to God and what to the Caesar? But it also poses the question about God’s intervention in history: How is He present in temporal reality? Does he rather set society in motion, and then society builds itself alone? The idea of God is not alien to the idea of man and society. Nowadays, the question of identity is vital and religion plays again a fundamental role. Which answer do liberalism and capitalism give to these basic topics? Which form did that answer take in America and Europe? Which model did civilizations in the West adopt in the past centuries? Have liberalism and capitalism preserved any traits of Christianity, which inspired them? This workshop invites all those researchers who would like to submit a paper on any of the referred questions, or related ones. Both systematic papers and those focused on one particular author will be accepted.

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