Participants

Dr. Azria is a professor of sociology at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris and a member of the Centre d’Études Interdisciplinaires des Faits Religieux at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique. She studied at the Sorbonne and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Professor Azria’s areas of specialization include Jewish identity and diaspora and religious affairs in France. She is Assistant Editor of the Archives de Sciences Sociales des Religions and has authored numerous publications about Judaism.

 

Dr. Baubérot is a historian and sociologist of religion as well as the founder of the sociology of secularism. He holds a doctorate from the École Pratique des Hautes Études (EPHE), where he founded the Groupe de Sociologie des Religions et de la Laïcité and is now Professor Emeritus of history and sociology of laïcité. Professor Baubérot has served in the cabinet of Ségolène Royal and as a member of the Stasi Commission. He was awarded Chevalier of the Légion d’honneur and is author of numerous books, including most recently Laïcité 1905-2005, entre passion et raison and La laïcité expliquée à Monsieur Sarkozy.

 

Jacques Berlinerblau is Associate Professor and Director of the Program for Jewish Civilization at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. He has published on a wide variety of issues ranging from the composition of the Hebrew Bible, to the sociology of heresy, to modern Jewish intellectuals, to African-American and Jewish-American relations. Professor Berlinerblau’s most recent book is How to Be Secular: A Call to Arms for Religious Freedom.

 

Dr. Denis Charbit is a senior lecturer at the Department of Sociology, Political Science and Communication at the Open University of Israel (Ra’anana). His main fields of research are Israeli politics and Zionist Thought, and, on another side, French Intellectual History and French Christian Democracy. About Israeli secularism, he published the following article “Is the Israeli Secularist cause passed away?” in a special issue of Critique internationale devoted to political secularism (vol. 44, 2009, pp.65-80). He is currently working as one of the editors of a comprehensive book about Jewish-Moslem Relations from the Koran till today (Princeton University Press, forthcoming).

 

Professor Corbin holds a B.A. from Harvard University and a J.D. from Columbia Law School. She was a James Kent Scholar while at Columbia Law School, where she also won the Pauline Berman Heller Prize and the James A. Elkins Prize for Constitutional Law. Following law school, she clerked for the Hon. M. Blane Michael of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. She then litigated as a pro bono fellow at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP and as an attorney at the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. She completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at Columbia Law School immediately prior to joining the University of Miami faculty in 2008.

 

Professor Fainberg is a sociologist and historian specializing in both Soviet Studies and Eastern European Jewish history, with a particular focus on how State politics shapes ethnic identities. She received her academic training in Paris, first at École Normale Superieure in Philosophy and later at Sciences Po in Political Science, where she received her PhD in 2008. Her latest project moves her into the post-Soviet space, and explores the promotion of new national narratives and remembrance patterns among ethnic minority groups in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus since the fall of the Iron Curtain.

 

Dr. Fea is Associate Professor of American History and Chair of the History Department at Messiah. He is the author or editor of three books, including The Way of Improvement Leads Home: Philip Vickers Fithian and the Rural Enlightenment in Early America and Was America Founded As a Christian Nation?: A Historical Introduction. Professor Fea’s essays and reviews have appeared in a variety of scholarly and popular venues. He blogs daily at The Way of Improvement Leads Home.

 

Pascale Fournier is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law (Civil Law Section) and Holder of the University of Ottawa Research Chair in Legal Pluralism and Comparative Law. Professor Fournier received her LL.B from Laval University (1997), her LL.M. from the University of Toronto (2000) and her S.J.D. from Harvard Law School (2007). A Fulbright and Trudeau scholar, she served as Law Clerk to Justice L’Heureux-Dubé at the Supreme Court of Canada in 2000-2001. Her scholarship focuses on Islam and Judaism in Europe and North America, comparative family law, human rights, criminal law and cultural diversity, and critical approaches to law.

In 2008, she served as expert consultant for the United Nations Development Programme on issues of gender and Islamic law in Tunisia, Egypt, Malaysia and Nigeria. She was awarded the Laval University Raymond-Blais Medal (2008), the Québec Bar Association’s Advocatus Emeritus distinction (2009), the University of Ottawa President’s Award for Excellence in Media Relations (2011) and the Fulbrighter of the Month distinction (November 2011). Her work has appeared in leading reviews and her publications were selected by the Harvard-Stanford Junior Faculty Forum (2008), the Québec Bar Foundation prize for “best law review article” (2009), and the Canadian Association of Law Teachers Scholarly Paper Award (Honorable Mention / 2010). Her most recent book is Muslim Marriage in Western Courts: Lost in Transplantation.

 

Dr. Greilsammer is a professor of political science at Bar-Ilan University in Tel-Aviv. He received his doctorate from University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne in international relations. Professor Greilsammer has lived in Israel since 1972. He has published several books, most notably Léon Blum: Lettres de Buchenwald and the widely translated Le sionisme.

 

Dr. Keysar, a demographer, is Associate Research Professor of Public Policy and Law and the Associate Director of the Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture (ISSSC) at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. She was a principal investigator of the American Religious Identification Survey 2008, the largest survey of religion in the U.S., covering over 50,000 respondents. She was also a principal investigator of the ISSSC web survey of Indian scientists, which is the first in a series of studies of worldviews and opinions of scientists around the world. Ariela Keysar was the study director of the American Jewish Identity Survey 2001 and the associate director of the Longitudinal Study of Young Jews Raised in Conservative Synagogues, 1995-2003.

Dr. Keysar is co-editor of Secularism, Women & The State: The Mediterranean World in the 21st Century; Secularism and Science in the 21st Century; and Secularism & Secularity: Contemporary International Perspectives. She is co-author of Religion in a Free Market and The Next Generation: Jewish Children and Adolescents.

 

Dr. Barry A. Kosmin is Research Professor in Public Policy & Law and Founding Director of the Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture (ISSSC) at Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut. He is a joint editor of the on-line international journal Secularism & Nonreligion. Dr. Kosmin has been a principal investigator of the American Religious Identification Survey series since its inception in 1990 as well as national social surveys in Europe, Africa and Asia. His books on American religion include One Nation under God: Religion in Contemporary American Society (1993) and Religion in a Free Market: Religious and Non-religious Americans (2006).

He is editor of ISSSC ‘s collected volumes on aspects of secularism:
Secularism and Secularity: Comparative International Perspective (2007)
Secularism & Science in the 21st Century (2008)
Secularism, Women & the State: The Mediterranean World in the 21st Century (2009)

 

Dr. Peña-Ruiz is a philosopher, writer, and politician. He is currently maître de conférences at the Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris. Dr. Peña-Ruiz is an expert on laïcité and was a member of the Stasi Commission. His books include La Laïcité and Qu’est-ce que l’école? in addition to several other philosophical works. He is a member of the conseil scientifique of the think tank Res Publica Foundation.

 

Dr. Shapira is the former Ruben Merenfeld Professor in the Study of Zionism at Tel Aviv University, former dean of the faculty of Humanities, and head of the Rabin Center. She is currently Senior Fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute. Professor Shapira specializes in modern and contemporary Jewish history, especially in social and cultural history and questions of identity. She has published numerous books and articles on the history of Zionism, the Jewish community in Palestine and the state of Israel. Her best known works are “Berl Katznelson: a Biography of a Socialist Zionist”, “Land and Power, the Zionist Resort to Force, 1882-1948”, “Yigal Allon: Native Son”, and “Yosef Hayyim Brenner, A Life Story”. She has won many prizes and awards, including the Israel Prize in 2008. Professor Shapira is currently working on a biography of David Ben Gurion.

 

Rev. Thistlethwaite is a Senior Fellow at American Progress. She is also Professor of Theology at Chicago Theological Seminary and its former president between 1998 and 2008. An ordained minister of the United Church of Christ since 1974, she is the author and/or editor of numerous books, and has worked on two different translations of the bible. Thistlethwaite is currently working in a new area she calls “Public Theology” and a new book on human nature and public policy. She writes a weekly column for the Washington Post “On Faith” online section and is a frequent media commentator on religion and public events.

 

Phil Zuckerman is a professor of sociology and secular studies at Pitzer College in Claremont, California. He is the author of several books, including Faith No More (Oxford, 2011) and Society Without God (2008), and he is the editor of several volumes, including Atheism and Secularity (Praeger, 2010). He is currently working on a new book on secular life in America that is being published by Penguin.