Seminar on Secularism and Religious Pluralism in the US, France, Turkey, and India

October 29, 2008 | The United States, France, Turkey, and India represent four secular democratic states with distinctively different patterns of religion/state separation and distinctively different modes of religious pluralism. This seminar examined comparatively the historical patterns of constitution of the four secular regimes, as well as the contemporary contentious debates on secularism, religion, and democratic politics in all four countries. Charles Taylor is one of the world's leading scholars working at the intersection of religion, secularity, and modernity. Among his most important books are: The Sources of the Self (1992), Multiculturalism: Examining the Politics of Recognition (1994) and, most recently, A Secular Age (2007). Taylor was for many years Professor for Political Sciences and Philosophy at the McGill University in Montreal, Canada, where he now serves as professor emeritus. He was awarded the Templeton Prize in 2007. Rajeev Bhargava is professor of political theory and Indian political thought, head of the Department of Political Science at the University of Delhi and a prominent scholar of multiculturalism and secularism in non-Western societies. He is editor of Civil Society, Public Sphere and Citizenship: Dialogues and Perceptions (2005) and co-editor of Transforming India (2000). He has also edited Secularism and its critics (1998) and co-edited Multiculturalism, Liberalism and Democracy (1999). Nilüfer Göle is professor of sociology at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes in Paris and a leading authority on contemporary Islam as it relates to issues of identity and gender in Europe. She is the author of The Forbidden Modern: Civilization and Veiling (1997) and Interpénétrations: L'Islam et l'Europe. (2005). Her sociological approach also has produced a broader critique of Eurocentrism with regard to emerging Islamic identities at the close of the 20th century. José Casanova is Professor in the Department of Sociology and Senior Fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, where he heads the program on Globalization, Religion and the Secular. A leading scholar of religion and globalization, he has published on topics including migration and religious pluralism, transnational religions, and sociological theory. His Public Religions in the Modern World (1994) has been translated into five languages.