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KEYNOTE LECTURES 2024

 

RELIGION AND SOCIO-CULTURAL TRANSFORMATION:

EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVES AND BEYOND

 

​Constant change is a permanent feature of contemporary European societies – not least in relation to their religious landscapes. This transformation is driven by various religious and socio-cultural factors, some of which are intertwined, in conflict or mutually dependent upon each other: ongoing individualization, issues of gender identity and sexual orientation, digitalization and artificial intelligence and the ecological crises.
 

In this context, religion is caught in the tension between several – sometimes opposing – forces, and progressive secularization meets the increasing public visibility of religion due to migration and religious pluralization. How can religions, with their moral, cultural, and symbolic reservoirs, contribute to holding diverse communities together, beyond national identity? Can religions, especially when they are part of secular states, promote the social cohesion of European societies? Can the imagination that drives different religious traditions provide religious and non-religious Europeans with resources to promote individual and collective change for the better? And what specific potential for a new togetherness and peaceful coexistence of people can be raised in the unique context of Europe – a context which is currently characterized by a particular encounter between the secular world and different religious traditions, but which is also shaped by a very specific history and deeply religious roots?
 

 

The keynote lectures at EuARe 2025 will focus on topics such as:

  • The role of religion in global change affecting Europe: e.g. individualization, sexual orientation/gender choice, digitalization and artificial intelligence, migration and the ecological crises

  • Europe as a place of peaceful coexistence between the secular world and the great religious traditions

  • Religion as a possible form of social cohesion beyond national identities and social discrepancies

  • Religion as a potential threat to social cohesion and democracies in Europe

  • Secularization and religion in the context of migration-related pluralism

  • The role of religious imagination for personal and collective transformation

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