Religion, Legal Pluralism and Human Rights


This pair of conferences, supported by a grant from the BEI, addressed the proper place and role of religion in constitutional democracies and international human rights regimes. Does the presence of religious symbols and rituals in public and official spaces foster exclusion or inclusion of those who differ? Were the sovereign state to give up its monopoly over public law, and yield to demands for jurisdiction by religious authorities over education and personal law (marriage, divorce, sexual morals, etc.), would this expand or undermine the political equality and human rights of citizens? In conferences held in May, 2012, at the Columbia Global Centers-Europe, and February, 2013, in New York, the project brought together interdisciplinary and geographically diverse scholars and students to examine the European and transatlantic past and present around these issues.

Faculty Organizers:
Jean L. Cohen, Nell and Herbert M. Singer Professor of Contemporary Civilization in the Core Curriculum
Yasmine Ergas, Associate Director, Institute for the Study of Human Rights, Adjunct Professor of International and Public Affairs
Samuel Moyn, Professor of History

Religious Freedom, Legal Pluralism and Democratic Constitutionalism
February 22–23, 2013
Co-sponsored by the Blinken Institute and the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life

Conference participants:
Andrew Arato, New School University
Karen Barkey, Columbia University
Jean L. Cohen, Columbia University
Stathis Gourgouris, Columbia University
Dieter Grimm, Humboldt University, Berlin
Claudia Haupt, Columbia University
Turkuler Isiksel, Columbia University
Mirjam Kunkler, Princeton University
Linda McClain, Boston University
Nancy Rosenblum, Harvard University
Larry Sager, University of Texas, Austin
Michel Troper, Université de Paris X

Religion, Legal Pluralism, and Human Rights: European and Transatlantic Perspectives
May 30-31, 2012
Co-sponsored by the Blinken Institute, the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life, and the University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne

Conference participants:
Jean Cohen, Columbia University
Yasmine Ergas, Columbia University
Samuel Moyn, Columbia University
John Bowen, Washington University in St. Louis
Christian Joppke, American University of Paris
Tariq Modood, University of Bristol
Maleiha Malik, King’s College London
Cecile Laborde, University College London
Rajeev Bhargava, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi
Denis Lacorne, Sciences Po, Paris
Riva Kastoryano, Sciences Po
Genevieve Fraisse, Sciences Po
Patrick Weil, Université de Paris I
Alicia Cebada Romero, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
Aurelia Bardon Columbia/Sciences Po
Carlo Invernizzi Accetti, Sciences Po

This pair of conferences, supported by a grant from the BEI, addressed the proper place and role of religion in constitutional democracies and international human rights regimes. Does the presence of religious symbols and rituals in public and official spaces foster exclusion or inclusion of those who differ? Were the sovereign state to give up its monopoly over public law, and yield to demands for jurisdiction by religious authorities over education and personal law (marriage, divorce, sexual morals, etc.), would this expand or undermine the political equality and human rights of citizens? In conferences held in May, 2012, at the Columbia Global Centers-Europe, and February, 2013, in New York, the project brought together interdisciplinary and geographically diverse scholars and students to examine the European and transatlantic past and present around these issues.

Faculty Organizers:
Jean L. Cohen, Nell and Herbert M. Singer Professor of Contemporary Civilization in the Core Curriculum
Yasmine Ergas, Associate Director, Institute for the Study of Human Rights, Adjunct Professor of International and Public Affairs
Samuel Moyn, Professor of History

Religious Freedom, Legal Pluralism and Democratic Constitutionalism
February 22–23, 2013
Co-sponsored by the Blinken Institute and the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life

Conference participants:
Andrew Arato, New School University
Karen Barkey, Columbia University
Jean L. Cohen, Columbia University
Stathis Gourgouris, Columbia University
Dieter Grimm, Humboldt University, Berlin
Claudia Haupt, Columbia University
Turkuler Isiksel, Columbia University
Mirjam Kunkler, Princeton University
Linda McClain, Boston University
Nancy Rosenblum, Harvard University
Larry Sager, University of Texas, Austin
Michel Troper, Université de Paris X

Religion, Legal Pluralism, and Human Rights: European and Transatlantic Perspectives
May 30-31, 2012
Co-sponsored by the Blinken Institute, the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life, and the University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne

Conference participants:
Jean Cohen, Columbia University
Yasmine Ergas, Columbia University
Samuel Moyn, Columbia University
John Bowen, Washington University in St. Louis
Christian Joppke, American University of Paris
Tariq Modood, University of Bristol
Maleiha Malik, King’s College London
Cecile Laborde, University College London
Rajeev Bhargava, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi
Denis Lacorne, Sciences Po, Paris
Riva Kastoryano, Sciences Po
Genevieve Fraisse, Sciences Po
Patrick Weil, Université de Paris I
Alicia Cebada Romero, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
Aurelia Bardon Columbia/Sciences Po
Carlo Invernizzi Accetti, Sciences Po