February 24, 2014
“Power, Politics, and the Promotion of Religious Freedom”
Prof. Elizabeth Shakman Hurd (Northwestern University)
12:30pm to 2:00pm, Room 2027, Osgoode Hall Law School
RSVP Required: www.osgoode.yorku.ca/research/rsvp, Event Code: LRST7
The promotion of religious freedom is ubiquitous. An impressive array of states and international authorities has taken up the cause of promoting religious freedom globally. The Canadian government is a recent example. This talk steps back from the excitement surrounding religious freedom advocacy to examine the power of religious freedom and the politics of governing social difference through religious rights.
Religious freedom advocacy singles out groups for legal protection as religious groups; molds religions into discrete “faith communities” with clean boundaries, clearly defined orthodoxies, and senior leaders who speak on their behalf; and privileges a modern liberal understanding of faith. This has important implications for the politics of religious diversity, and particularly for dissidents, doubters, and those who identify with nonorthodox versions of protected traditions.
Elizabeth Shakman Hurd is Associate Professor of Political Science at Northwestern University. She teaches and writes on the politics of religious diversity, secularism and governance, the intersection of law and religion, the politics of human rights, the history and politics of US foreign relations, and the international relations of the Middle East including Turkey and Iran. Professor Shakman Hurd is the author of the award-winning volume The Politics of Secularism in International Relations (Princeton, 2008), and co-edited Comparative Secularisms in a Global Age (Palgrave, 2010).