Secularism vs. Islam


Seminar with Olivier Roy, among others

Wednesday 5. March 2014, 10:00 until 12:00

Venue: Wergeland

Host: Litteraturhuset

Entrance: Free entry

Is the opposition between Islam and the West derived from the fact that the West is Christian? Or is it rather because the West is secularised and no longer places religion at the heart of its self-definition? Is it Christianity or secularism that makes the West so distinct?

According to the French religious historian Olivier Roy, different forms of secularism in Europe have the effect of marginalising religious communities of all kinds, transforming the faithful into minorities and creating a fertile breeding ground for religious extremism. Roy will start by pointing out what he believes to be a major paradox: rather than liberating the world from religion, the secularisation of Western societies has allowed an anti-intellectual arrogance to dominate those few who practise their beliefs – whether they be Protestant Evangelicals, Islamic Salafists or Haredi Jews. In this seminar Roy presents his own research about secularism and Islam, in dialogue with Anouar Majid, director of the Center for Global Humanities at the University of New England, and Petter Nesser, research fellow at the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment’s Terrorism Resarch Group. The seminar is moderated by Hanne Eggen Røislien, associate professor at the Norwegian Defence Cyber Academy.

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