The International Congress “Rethinking Europe with(out) Religion” reflects on the religious and political transformation processes in European contemporary societies in the context of a growing pluralism. It investigates the political role that religion can play for the unification process of Europe in times of crisis. “Rethinking Europe” is more than an economic challenge. It means searching for “a soul for Europe” (J. Delors). However, it is highly controversial if religion(s) can contribute anything at all to Europe and if so what this contribution may look like.
Taking the philosophical and sociological debate on secularization of the last twenty years into consideration, leading scientists from various disciplines (i.e. philosophy, theology, social sciences), who come from all over Europe try to explore which role religion(s) can play in a post secular Europe: Which self-concept do Islam, Christianity and Judaism develop in a Europe characterized by growing pluralism? How does this affect their relations to each other? What are the resources, visions and utopias of all three religions with regard to the "Project Europe"? What are the barriers within these religions, especially referring to the challenge of pluralism? What experiences of the interaction between politics and religions do exist, especially in Eastern Europe after the fall of the Iron Curtain?
On Wednesday, 20th February 2013 at 6:00pm the congress will start with a lecture and a reception with free admission. We cordially invite all interested members of the public, colleagues and supporters to join us. The congress will close on Saturday, 23rd February 2013 at 1:30 pm.
Located in the heart of Europe, Vienna, the capital of Austria, has always been a cultural and religious crossing point. Therfore, Vienna is especially well-suited to explore religions and their transformation processes in Europe. The congress is organized by the interdisciplinary research platform “Religion and Transformation in Contemporary European Society” (RaT) at the University of Vienna. The congress is under the patronage of the representation of the European Comission in Austria.