Wars of Religion : Past & Present

Wars of Religion : Past & Present

F. Guénard participera au colloque organisé à  l’Université de Princeton par Christophe Litwin, Jonny Thakkar et Mira Siegelberg les 23 et 24 avril 2015.

The expression «wars of religion» first appears in historiography at the start of the 18th century, when it was used to refer to the series of civil conflicts between Catholics and Protestants in Europe throughout the 16th and 17th centuries. By extension, it is often employed to characterize any civil war whose stakes are as much confessional as political.

The experience of the European wars played a decisive role in the development of political philosophy from Hobbes onwards. Philosophical reflection on the concept of wars of religion is therefore inseparable from the historiographical questions raised above. To what extent has the specifically religious dimension of civil conflict shaped the philosophical analysis of the modern state? And to what extent should it do so? This two-day conference aims to facilitate a dialogue between historians of philosophy and normative theorists on these questions.

About the program

April 23
(Mathey / Rocky Classroom)

9:15-10:45: The French Wars of Religion

«Ending the French Wars of Religion.» – Allan Tulchin (Shippensburg U.)

«On State Necessity: The Sphere of Government during the French Wars of Religion.» – Nicolas Le Roux (U. Lyon II)

Moderator: David Bell

11-00-12:30: Hobbes and the British Wars of Religion

«Preaching against Oppression: Wars of Religion in Hobbes’s Behemoth» – Céline Spector (U. Bordeaux Montaigne)

“‘At the Edge of Promises and Prophecies’: Thomas Hobbes and the Apocalyptic Imaginary” – Allison McQueen (Stanford)

Moderator: Dan Edelstein

2:00-3:30 pm: Wars of Religion in Early Modern French Philosophy.

“‘During our current religious strife’. Montaigne and the Wars of Religion” (In French; English paper translation provided) – Frédéric Brahami (U. de Franche-Comté)

«War, Religion and Wars of Religion in Rousseau’s Political Thought» – Florent Guénard (U. de Nantes)

Moderator: Christophe Litwin

4:00 – 5:30 pm: Are Wars of Religion about Religion? Comparative Approaches.

«What Do Religions Actually Fight About? A Durkheimian Perspective». (In French; English paper translation provided) – Bruno Karsenti (EHESS)

«New Wars of Religion: Rethinking Contemporary Violence through the French Wars of Religion». – Michael Sandberg (Institut d’études avancées de Paris & Northern Illinois U.)

5:30-6:00 pm: Plenary Discussion.

April 24
(Chancellor Green 105)

9:15-10:45: Does Religion cause Wars?

«On Some Uses of the Term Religion.» – Jeffrey Stout (Princeton)

«Religious Conviction and the Necessity of War» – Oded Na’aman (Harvard)

Moderator: Melissa Lane

11:00-12:30: Can Contemporary Ethnic and Confessional Conflicts be coined as Wars of Religion?

«The Tenth Parallel. The Role of Religion in Conflicts over Water, Resources and Political Power» – Eliza Griswold (freelance journalist; writes for the New York Times)

«An Intra-religious Genocide: The Extermination of the Tutsi in Rwanda in 1994» – Julien Seroussi (Paris Court of Appeal; worked for the International Criminal Court 2009-2012)

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