This event occurred on March 16th, 2007
The Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs
Are “universal” human rights in fact an imposition of western or Christian ideas? Is democracy, the “rule of the people,” compatible with God’s law? How does religion inform – and impede – the struggle for human rights around the world? The Berkley Center conference on “Religion and the Global Politics of Human Rights” brought together leading anthropologists, sociologists, historians, and political scientists to explore questions on the ways in which religion intersects with the global human rights agendas. It breaks with the dominant “top down” approach centered on the principles found in sacred texts and authoritative theological and legal interpretations. Participants grappled with the issue “bottom up” – the interaction of human rights and religion in practice and the challenges they pose for national and international politics.
This conference, convened by Thomas Banchoff, Director of the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University, and Robert Wuthnow, Director of the Center for the Study of Religion at Princeton University, was the third in a series. In April 2005 Georgetown University sponsored the Conference on New Religious Pluralism and Democracy. In March 2006, the Berkley Center hosted the inaugural Conference on the New Religious Pluralism in World Politics. Two books based on the conferences are forthcoming with Oxford University Press.
First Conference Session: Latin America and Africa
Paul Freston, Calvin College, "Religious Pluralism, Democracy and Human Rights in Latin America"
Rogaia Mustafa Abusharaf, Brown University, "Gender Justice and Religion in Sub-Sahara Africa"
Alfred Stepan, Columbia University, "Islam and Human Rights in Senegal: Rituals of Respect"
Tom Banchoff, Georgetown University- Discussant