Religious Diversity and Tolerance in Europe and Turkey, 10am-6:15pm, Friday, 6 June 2014, LSE

Dear all,

You are warmly invited to the one-day public conference entitled “Religious Diversity and Tolerance in Europe and Turkey” organized by LSE Contemporary Turkish Studies. This event will take place from 10:00 to 18:15 on Friday, 6 June 2014 at the room NAB.LG.01, Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE, 54 Lincolns Inn Fields, WC2A 3LJ, London.

A short introduction about the conference: Why does the issue of religious belief come in discussions of national belonging? How and why do religious minorities are increasingly seen as an issue of national security? What are the consequences of making religious belief central to discussions regarding immigrant integration, accession to the European Union, and international politics? Despite their different histories, contemporary demographic constitutions, and different majority religions Europe and Turkey manage religious minorities in surprisingly similar ways. Since the beginning of the 2000s an increasing number of politicians and public actors inside and outside the European Union underline the difference between Christianity and Islam, as well as religion and non-religion defining belief in culturalized and ethnicized terms. Many European countries and Turkey have their own histories of racializing religion, yet these trends take new turns in secular regimes and especially in a European Union that seeks post-national common grounds. At the middle of a growing discourse of the incompatability of Christianity and Islam, religion and secularism, Christian, Muslim, and other minorities as well as atheists practice their religions across Europe and Turkey. This socio-political climate, however, heavily shapes everyday experiences of religious minorities. They look for ways to define their minority religion as fitting in the majority context. They draw on concepts such as a separation between culture and religion; they talk about what belief entails; make references to tolerance; or use legal means to protect their rights. This conference brings together scholars who work on related issues regarding religious pluralism in different countries across Europe and Turkey. It aims to understand the larger socio-political processes and discourses that shape and define religious diversity with an emphasis on similarities and differences.

This conference includes a number of distinguished speakers and chairs:
Professor Samim Akgonul, Professor John R. Bowen, Assistant Professor Marcy Brink-Danan, Associate Professor Katerina Dalacoura, Associate Professor Matthew Engelke, Professor Katherine P. Ewing, Dr. Effie Fokas, Professor Ayhan Kaya, Dr. Ceren Ozgul, Associate Professor Esra Ozyurek, Dr. Mathijs Pelkmans, and Assistant Professor Kabir Tambar.

Please find attached a detailed advert of this one-day public conference as a PDF document including the full conference programme, the talk titles of the speakers, the biographies of the speakers and the chairs, and an LSE map to find your way around LSE.

This event is free and open to all with no ticket required. Seating will be based on first come first served.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact me.

With many thanks,
Umit Sonmez
Research Officer: Turkey and European Union Contemporary Turkish Studies European Institute London School of Economics and Political Science Houghton Street WC2A 2AE London, United Kingdom

E-mail: u.sonmez@lse.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7955 6067
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7955 7546
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Religious Diversity and Tolerance in Europe and Turkey.ConferenceProgramme.LSE.6June2014.pdf