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Conference on Secularism to Take Place at Georgetown University


"Secularism on the Edge: United States, France & Israel" will feature leading academics from the United States, France and Israel including:

  • Jacques Berlinerblau, associate professor and director of the Program for Jewish Civilization at Georgetown University;
  • Jean Baubérot, historian and sociologist of religion, École Pratique des Hautes Études (EPHE); and
  • Denis Charbit, senior lecturer at the department of sociology, political science and communication at the Open University of Israel (Ra’anana).

Click here for a full list of participants.

In the United States, France, and Israel, existing church-state relations are in flux, with wide-ranging ramifications for women, religious minorities, religious moderates, and the religiously unaffiliated. Georgetown University’s Program for Jewish Civilization invites you to three days of public interviews, panels and presentations addressing crucial issues such as: 
  • What exactly is American secularism? French laïcité? Israeli hiloniyut?
  • How have groups such as conservative Evangelicals, Islamists, and ultra-Orthodox Jews challenged the legitimacy of secular states?
  • How have ongoing shifts in church-state relations affected women?
  • Where do religious “nones,” including atheists, find their place in a secular society?
  • What is the secular future in this country and beyond? Is secularism, as its critics allege, an idea whose time has passed?

Day 1: Wednesday, February 20 from 2:00 p.m. until 5:30 p.m.

Day 2: Thursday, February 21 from 10:00 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.

Day 3: Friday, February 22 from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m.

Bunn Intercultural Center (ICC) Auditorium
Georgetown University
37th & O Streets, NW
Washington, D.C. 20057
BMW Center for German and European Studies
Department of French
Department of Government
Program for Jewish Civilization
COVERAGE: Members of the media interested in attending must RSVP to Rob Mathis at 202-687-4328 or to get details on coverage and access.
Rob Mathis


Georgetown University37th and O Streets, N.W., Washington D.C. 20057(202) 687.0100

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