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Hannah Arendt and the Ancients

One of the most original figures of the twentieth century, Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) still exerts a profound influence on political thinking today. Her work on revolution, action, totalitarianism, or “the banality of evil” continues to animate debates about democracy, about Israel and Palestine, about feminism and about the nature of political participation - she has even been the subject of a recent film. Miriam Leonard, Professor of Greek Literature and its Reception at UCL, discusses the inspiration that Arendt’s critique of contemporary politics found in antiquity.
12 October 2015
Miriam Leonard More...

Starts: Oct 12, 2015 12:00:00 AM

Do Not Fear Austerity: A Public Meeting with Yanis Varoufakis

Alessandro de Arcangelis, UCL PhD student in History, reports on a ‘public meeting’ with Yanis Varoufakis, and his advice to Jeremy Corbyn.
30 September 2015
Alessandro de Arcangelis More...

Starts: Oct 1, 2015 12:00:00 AM

A Syrian tragedy turning into a European tragedy

Gëzim Krasniqi, Fellow at UCL’s School of Slavonic and East European Studies, traces the shifting routes chosen by refugees from Syria—and how the EU’s lack of a coordinated policy has been turning the Syrian tragedy into a European one. It has left the Balkan states with a refugee crisis impossible to master.
23 September 2015
Gëzim Krasniqi More...

Starts: Sep 23, 2015 12:00:00 AM

Negotiating Religion

Publication date: Oct 10, 2011 10:16 AM

Start: Feb 10, 2012 12:00 AM
End: Feb 10, 2012 12:00 AM

Workshop 2: Constitutional and Philosophical Dimensions

10 February 2012

Workshop 2:
Accommodating Religious Communities in Contemporary Europe - Constitutional and Philosophical Dimensions

10 February 2012

Old Refectory
UCL Main Campus

Religion WS2

Workshop 2: Accommodating Religious Communities in Contemporary Europe - Constitutional and Philosophical Dimensions

This workshop will examine the character of the contemporary European state in its relation with religions and religious pluralism, and the general policies developed by states to address religious affairs. With an increasing diversity in attitudes towards religious commitments manifest in today’s Europe, liberal democratic governments are increasingly under pressure to define how they should accommodate their citizens qua religious believers or non-believers. The key questions which the state – in principle regarded perhaps by most as a secular and neutral authority – faces regard the extent to which policies are to address religious communities and their demands. How are majority religions – established churches – enshrined within constitutional settlements and what implications does that have for the secularist attributes of modern European states? Is a minimum common denominator of liberal toleration of all religions sufficient? Can the state truly aspire to a universally accepted neutrality or will its secularity be regarded by the religious as fundamentally hostile to religions whatever is claimed to the contrary? Should the state attribute special rights to religious groups, particularly where they are minority communities facing assimilationist pressures, or grant formal recognition to them?

Sessions will examine the phenomenon of church establishment in Europe generally (John Madeley, LSE) and in the UK in particular (Bob Morris, UCL, with discussants Jim Beckford, Warwick, and Lucian Leustean, Aston), and how far multiple religious jurisdictions may be tolerated (Gillian Douglas, Cardiff, with discussants Mark Hill QC and Frank Cranmer, Durham).

Concentrating on the philosophical and legal dimensions will be sessions considering how far liberal democratic states can and/or ought to follow policies of religious neutrality (Lorenzo Zucca, KCL and Saladin Meckled-Garcia, with Ronan McCrea, UCL, as discussant), and how far religious exemptions may be justified (Stuart White, Oxford, and Jonathan Seglow, Royal Holloway, with discussant Jonathan Quong, Manchester).


10.00-11.15 Six degrees of separation? Variants of religious establishment in Europe
Mr John Madeley (LSE), Dr Robert Morris (UCL)
Professor Jim Beckford (Warwick), Dr Lucian Leustean (Aston)
11:15-11:45 Coffee break
Testing the Limits: Religion and Constitutional Neutrality
Speakers Dr Lorenzo Zucca (King’s College London)
‘Exploring the Neutrality Dilemma’
  Dr Saladin Meckled-Garcia (UCL)
‘What is Just Establishment?’
Dr Ronan McCrea (UCL)
Professor Cécile Laborde (UCL)
13:00-14:00 Lunch
14:00-15:15 Justifying Religious Exemptions
Speakers Dr Stuart White (Oxford University)
‘Religious Exemptions: An Egalitarian Demand?’
  Dr Jonathan Seglow (Royal Holloway)
‘Accommodating Religion: The Case of Legal Exemptions'
Dr Jonathan Quong (Manchester)
Chair Professor John Horton (Keele)
Coffee break
15:45-17:00 Boundaries of Toleration: Moderating Multiple Religious Jurisdictions
Professor Gillian Douglas (Cardiff)
Mark Hill QC, Dr Frank Cranmer (Durham)
Professor Daniel Weinstock (Montréal)

Followed by a drinks reception. All participants welcome.

Prof Cécile Laborde (UCL School of Public Policy), Dr Robert Morris (UCL Constitution Unit), Dr Uta Staiger (UCL European Institute).

For further information on the individual sessions or the series as a whole, please contact: Dr François Guesnet or Dr Uta Staiger.

The series is coordinated by the European Institute and UCL's Research Initiative Religion and Society (supported by the Grand Challenge of Intercultural Interaction).

Throughout, the organisers hope to engage UCL's community in a discussion about what London's global university could or should contribute to a reflection of these issues as a leading institution in research and in higher education, and as an academic community.