Religion and Citizenship: 15th Annual Conference on Citizenship


Apr 12, 2018 – 08:30 AM

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The Center for the Study of Citizenship at Wayne State University, in collaboration with The Centre for Citizenship, Social Pluralism and Religious Diversity, University of Potsdam, Germany, announces its fifteenth annual Conference in Citizenship Studies. Religion has been, and continues to be, central to any notion of citizenship. The ideal of a rights-bearing citizen has its roots in assertions of freedom from religious persecution. While the separation of church and state continues to serve as a foundational principle for secular states, religion remains entwined with those states and the public lives of their citizens. Communitarian thinkers argue that this is as it should be, religion provides purpose and value to community membership and cannot be removed from any meaningful definition of citizenship. Despite claims for secular tolerance of religious beliefs, exclusions from citizenship are too often based on religious differences, differences that can also involve ethnic and racial identity. Tensions created by religious exclusion, persecution, and discrimination can further impact citizenship by fueling secessionist movements, political revolutions, and genocides. This year's theme, "Religion and Citizenship," will explore the role of religion - practice and concept - in the recognition and exercise of citizenship over a three-day conference. The subject includes a broad range of philosophical, legal, and historical matters, such as the extent of religious influence on governance, the use of religion to restrict ascription of citizenship, and the positing of limits to citizens' legitimate relationships with foreign nations or to their activities in opposition to their own governments. Papers may also deal with such issues as the enforcement and crossing of national borders, the relations (political, cultural, economic, social, artistic, environmental) between religious and government entities, or the consequences of religious identity or practice for citizens' participation in global or regional commerce, their realization of human rights, or their susceptibility to transnational law enforcement Speakers The Keynote Speaker for this three-day conference is Bryan Turner, one of the world’s leading sociologists of religion. His current research involves the role of religion and the changing nature of citizenship in a globalizing world. Dr Turner has written, coauthored, or edited more than seventy books and more than two hundred articles and chapters, including most recently The Religious and the Political: A Comparative Sociology of Religion (2013) and Religion and Modern Society: Citizenship, Secularisation and the State (2011). The Plenary Speaker is Saeed Khan, who is a Senior Lecturer in Global Studies, Islamic and Middle East History, Islamic Civilizations and History of Islamic Political Thought at Wayne State University. He is a consultant on Islamic and Middle East affairs for the BBC and the CBC and serves as consultant to the US-Arab Economic Forum. Mr. Khan founded the Center for the Study of Trans-Atlantic Diasporas, a think tank and policy center examining and comparing the condition of ethnic immigrant groups in North America and Europe, consulting the US and UK governments on their respective Muslim communities.  FAQs What are the logistical details about attending the event? See the conference website at for a comprehensive review of places to stay, how to get there, what to bring, etc. How can I contact the organizer with any questions? Contact the conference at  

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