September 07, 2003God's rule and Cesar's rule: Exploring the Space between Theocracy and Secularism
Academics, analysts, politicians and diplomats came from Europe and the Middle East in order to participate in this conference looking at the relationship between state, religion and politics in specific country case studies. The cases represented the great diversity of state –religion arrangements from theocracy to secularism and included Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey, Austria, Belgium, Denmark & Sweden, France and Germany. Each case study set out to answer three questions: What is the legal relationship between the state and religion? What is the state of religiosity and of religious practice? Does religion influence political behavior, and are there policies of the state or of specific political forces to influence religion? Following a session comparing policies and behavior in the different countries, participants also considered questions with both academic and political implications: To what extent does law shape religious behavior? To what extent does empirical behavior influence legal norms? Are “policies of religion” effective instruments for the promotion of religious and/or political goals?
This conference was organized in collaboration with the UNESCO International Centre for Human Sciences, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and the Oriental Institute in Beirut.