The Fundamental Premise

The global revival of traditionalist religion has challenged secularism as never before…

In the United States, France, and Israel, existing church-state relations are in flux, with wide-ranging ramifications for women, religious minorities, religious moderates, and the religiously unaffiliated. Organized by Georgetown University’s Program for Jewish Civilization, these three days of public interviews, panels, and presentations addressed crucial issues such as:

  • What exactly is American secularism? French laïcité? Israeli hiloniyut?
  • How have groups such as conservative Evangelicals, Islamists, and ultra-Orthodox Jews challenged the legitimacy of secular states?
  • How have ongoing shifts in church-state relations affected women?
  • Where do religious “nones,” including atheists, find their place in a secular society?
  • What is the secular future in this country and beyond? Is secularism, as its critics allege, an idea whose time has passed?

We would like to thank all those who attended the conference. Audio and video recordings from the events are now available here. Learn more about the history of secularism, and what it is and is not, here. Follow us on Twitter (@SecularismEdge) for updates!

Co-sponsored by the BMW Center for German and European Studies, the Department of French, and the Department of Government at Georgetown University.