Religious and secularistic concepts of Universalism/Particularism

Religious and secularistic concepts of Universalism/Particularism

Kolleg-Forschungsgruppe "Universalism and Particularism in European Contemporary History", Historisches Seminar der LMU München
Seidlvilla, Nikolaipl. 1B
Funded by
DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft)
From - Until
25.05.2023 - 26.05.2023
Isabella Schüler-Pfeuffer, Kolleg-Forschungsgruppe "Universalism and Particularism in European Contemporary History", Historisches Seminar, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

Religions such as Christianity, Judaism and Islam have universalistic potentials; at the same time, they have manifold traditions of confining morality to the internal life of religious and political communities. Secular universalism arose not least from the effort to construct a universalistic morality beyond all confessional traditions out of the factual particularism of religions.

Religious and secularistic concepts of Universalism/Particularism

Religious and secular-humanist justifications of universalism intertwined since the Enlightenment. Since the Romantic period, a close connection of religious and secular particularist semantics can also be observed. The conference is especially interested in religious or secular concepts that have acquired political relevance in recent contemporary history.

The conference also studies the competition of liberal, at least superficially secular designs of political orders (e.g. the Charter of Paris 1990 or the model of economic globalization) with religiously charged models of order in contemporary European history.

Universalist religious concepts often reject neoliberal economic globalization and the primacy of free markets. Specific foci and the extent of this critique, as well as designs for alternative orders, vary widely: from a discussion of the restriction of markets to the conception of alternative global economic institutions. Particularist religious discourses, on the other hand, often support particularist economic practices.


Thursday, May 25, 2023

10.00-10.15 Welcome and introduction: Martin Schulze Wessel (Munich)

Panel 1
Title Chair: Martin Schulze Wessel (Munich)

José Casanova (Georgetown)
Mutual, Secular and Religious, Exclusive Claims to Universalism
Hans Joas (Berlin, Chicago)
The Emergence of Moral Universalism in the Axial Age. Contours of a Contemporary Debate

11.15-11.45 Discussion

11.45-13.00 Lunch break

Panel 2
Title Chair: Kiran K. Patel (Munich)

Brian Van Wyck (Maryland)
Muslimizing, Secularizing, Nationalizing: Universalism and Particularism in the Turkish Diaspora
Mateusz Majman (Munich)
From Universal to Particular: the Transformation of Holocaust Memory among the Mountain Jews after the Collapse of the Soviet Union

14.00-14.30 Discussion

14.30-15.00 Coffee Break

Panel 3
Title Chair: Andreas Wirsching (Munich)

Hélène Miard-Delacroix (Paris)
The Evolution of French Laicité: from a Political Pattern to a Secular Key
Concept of Living Together in a Multicultural Society
Heléna Tóth (Bamberg)
"If we can do what the church can!" The Competition for Structuring the Emotions of the "Socialist New Man" in the 1960s in Central Europe
Johannes Gleixner (Munich)
“Politicizing Secularity”: Universalism as a Tool for Political Particularism

16.30-17.00 Discussion

17.00-18.00 Break

18.00-18.45 Keynote Lecture
John Connelly (Berkeley):
Nation as Tragedy: the Story of East and Central Europe

18.45-19.30 Discussion

Friday, May 26, 2023

Panel 4
Title Chair: José Casanova (Georgetown)

Marta Bucholc (Warsaw)
The Historical Dynamics of Universalism and Particularism in the Discursive Framings of the Figure of John Paul II in Poland
Zdeněk R. Nešpor (Prague)
Saving the Nation via Religion, or Religious Elements in Czech and Slovak Neo-nationalisms

10.00-10.30 Discussion

10.30-10.45 Coffee Break

Panel 5
Title Chair: Marta Bucholc (Warsaw)

Nadieszda Kizenko (Albany)
Human Rights and Values Discourses in the Russian Orthodox Church
Nikolay Mitrokhin (Bremen)
Transregional and Universal Religious Orientation versus State Expectations of Loyalty. Orthodoxy in Ukraine from World War II to the Present

11.45-12.15 Discussion

12.15-12.45 Concluding discussion

12.45-13.45 Lunch

Participation is possible online and in person. Conference listeners are asked to register by writing to and to indicate the panels they would like to participate in.

Contact (announcement)

KFG Coordination Office
Lena Lopatschowa, M.A., and Dr. Isabella Schüler-Pfeuffer

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