On 21 May CIRIS had the pleasure of hosting a stimulating conference on ‘Reconsidering Religious Radicalism’ at Clare College, Cambridge. The conference included keynote presentations and panel discussions with a diverse range of theologians, social scientists, and practitioners. The event, which attracted over 70 participants, was generously co-sponsored by the Cambridge Inter-faith Programme, the Woolf Institute, and the Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics. The best papers from the conference will be published in an edited volume.
Credit for the photographs goes to Dr Charles Roddie, fellow and director of studies in economics at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge.
CIRIS is delighted to host Prof Simon Glendinning for a seminar on ‘European Philosophical History and Faith in God A Posteriori’. Glendinning is Professor of European Philosophy at the London School Economics. The seminar will take place in the Allison Richard Building (POLIS) room 138 at 13:00 on Tuesday 17th May. All our welcome.
CIRIS senior research associate Pasquale Annicchino is featured in a new conference report on religious freedom published by Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs. The report, International Religious Freedom: Toward a Model of Transatlantic Cooperation, offers a transcript of an 8 October 2015 conference at Georgetown University. Dr Annicchino’s contributions can be found on pages 38-53.
Annicchino is a Research Fellow at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. He has been adjunct professor of law at Brigham Young University Law School and a visiting professor at the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium).
CIRIS research associate Arthur Ghins was in Brussels at the time of the recent terrorist attacks on the airport and subway. In this interview with CIRIS managing director Judd Birdsall he reflects on the religious and political dynamics of contemporary Belgium from his vantage point as both as a resident of Brussels and as a scholar of 19th century European political thought.
CIRIS: What was your immediate reaction when you heard the news about the attacks?
Ghins: I was stunned, of course. I think the psychological impact of a terrorist attack is far greater when it happens in the town where you grew up, in places you have been to hundreds of times. Even though I had already been deeply shocked by the Paris attacks, the geographical distance had also been somehow a symbolic distance. When the attacks happened in Brussels, I thought: this is happening here and now, it’s going to have a massive impact on our daily lives.
Maybe this will sound a bit naïve, but I was also all the more astonished because I did not seriously think that Brussels was a genuine target. Perhaps in part because I thought quite cynically that terrorists would not decide to strike their “headquarters” in Europe. Sadly enough, Belgium is indeed the country in Europe that proportionally has sent the highest number of youngsters to fight for ISIS in Syria.
CIRIS: So why would the terrorists attack their own country of residence?