Jun 012017
 June 1, 2017

Please join the North Carolina Jewish Studies Seminar and Religions and Public Life at KIE for a lunch seminar on religion, politics, and governance with Guy Ben-Porat (Brown University), on Friday, December 1, at 12:15pm in Friedl 225.

Guy Ben-Porat is an associate professor at the Department of Politics and Government at Ben-Gurion University and an Israel Institute Visiting Fellow at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University. He is the author of Between State and Synagogue, the Secularization of Contemporary Israel (Cambridge University Press, 2013) and Global Liberalism, Local Populism; Peace and Conflict in Israel/Palestine and Northern Ireland (Syracuse University Press). His new book (co-written) is on police and minorities (Cambridge University Press).

Abstract: The scholarly debate of religiosity and secularism in Israel has either engaged with ideological/theological questions or with formal political processes of elections and legislation. This work offers a different perception and interpretation of secularization that looks beyond openly-declared ideological secularism and its related struggles against the Orthodox monopoly in the political arena. The disaggregation of the concept of secularization opens up the new possibilities for research of both the declining role of religion in society vis-à-vis other systems (political and economic) and the role of religion in individual lives (beliefs, practices and values). The four issues studied in the book – civil marriage, civil burial, sale of pork and commerce on the Sabbath – demonstrate dramatic changes that occurred in the last three decades. These changes, as the study demonstrates, are at most partially attributed to a secular ideology and to an organized secular struggle. Consequently, secularization, measured in declining religious authority remains largely separate from secularism and a liberal ethos of equality and freedom.

Vegetarian lunch served.

Friday, December 1
Friedl 225, East Campus

Contact amber.diaz@duke.edu for parking (for those coming from outside of Duke). Duke faculty and students are encouraged to use the East-West campus bus.