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The event is rescheduled for next Monday, June 3, 2024 at 7pm at the link https://us06web.zoom.us/j/82346687160

 

The next event of the “Time for Action” series will be the round table “Religion in the Public Sphere: Between Fundamentalism, Populism and Democracy” on Monday, May 27, 2024, 7 p.m. (Athens time). The speakers will be Dr. Effie Fokas (Principal Researcher at the Hellenic Foundation for European & Foreign Policy ELIAMEP) and Prof. Dr. Ηaralambos Ventis (Assistant Professor, Faculty of Theology, University of Athens), on Monday, May 27. The event will be moderated by the Director of Volos Academy, Dr. Pantelis Kalaitzidis. The languages of the event will be English and Greek and the link for attending is https://us06web.zoom.us/j/82346687160

In 2016 Nadia Marzouki, Duncan McDonnell and Olivier Roy published a volume of chapters examining ways in which right-winged populists had ‘hijacked’ religion to serve their political purposes. Looking in on the case of religion in the Greek public sphere from an external perspective, the concept of ‘hijacked religion’ comes easily to mind, though not limited to right-winged populism: from the ways religion is engaged in political discourse by the far right in Greek parliament, to much-debated references to religion by the left, to the public discourse of ‘religious populist’ voices within the Church, there circulate very conspicuously in the Greek public sphere multiple expressions of ‘highjacked religion’ which are most likely far from this audience’s own understanding of the Orthodox faith in Greece. Effie Fokas in her contribution will explore the contours of these expressions of religion, seeking to make sense of their coexistence in the contemporary Greek political space and to understand them from a comparative external perspective. Haralambos Ventis will endeavour to explain why the model of Political Liberalism advanced by the late John Rawls offers the most viable and appropriate proposal for the place of religion in modern western democracies, particularly in an age of harmful and inane polarities, such as our own.

Effie Fokas is Assistant Professor of International Relations and European Affairs at the American College of Greece (Athens), Research Associate of the London School of Economics Hellenic Observatory, and Senior Research Fellow at the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP), where she has carried out a number of projects relevant to religion, politics and law. Her most recent project at ELIAMEP is a European Research Council-funded study of grassroots mobilizations around religion-related case law of the European Court of Human Rights (Grassrootsmobilise; 2014-2019). Her background is in political science and she holds a PhD in political sociology from the London School of Economics. Her publications include Religious America, Secular Europe?, co-authored with Peter Berger and Grace Davie; Islam in Europe: Diversity, Identity and Influence , co-edited with Aziz Al-Azmeh; The European Court of Human Rights and Minority Religions , co-edited with James T. Richardson; and over 60 articles and book chapters exploring religion in relation to politics, law, human rights, nationalism, and European identity.

Haralambos Ventis was born in Athens, Greece in 1967. He studied theology at Holy Cross School of Theology in Boston, Massachusetts, and earned PhDs from Boston University (2001) and the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (2014). He serves as Associate Professor of Philosophy of Religion in the Department of Social Theology and Religion at the Faculty of Theology of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. He has taught at the Hellenic Open University and the American College of Greece (Deree College). His scholarly interests include Kantian thought, Philosophy of Language, Postmodernism, contemporary Political Theory and Ethics (especially the Political Liberalism of John Rawls), and Philosophy of Religion. Among his publications, one should mention the collective volume Orthodox Christianity and Modern Science: Past, Present, and Future(co-edited with Kostas Tambakis of the Hellenic Research Foundation, Brepols 2023), “Pacifist Pluralism versus Militant Truth: Christianity at the Service of Revolution in the Work of Slavoj Žižek”, in Sotiris Mitralexis and Dionysios Skliris (eds.) Slavoj Žižek and Christianity (Oxon & New York: Routledge, 2019), and “Is there any raison d'être for Orthodox Christian theology in the post-Copernicus era?”, journal Δευκαλίων 33.1-2, 2019.

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TIME FOR ACTION - 4th Season

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