Conference with Philippe Portier [fr]
"States and Religions in Europe. Towards a common secular model?"
Ottawa University, Faculty of Social Sciences
March 21st, 5pm -6.30 pm
Philippe Portier studies the evolving relations between Churches and States in Western Europe. Beginning with a discussion of the influence of heritage in the matter, he will present the two dominant models: the confessionality model in which one religion is officially distinguished from others, and the Church/State separation model. Following this, he will highlight the long-term trend towards “converging paths”. This trend is based on simultaneous deconfessionalization movements in traditionally Catholic countries (Italy, Spain) and Lutheran countries (Norway), and on the reassociation of religious people into the public sphere in countries with rigidly separate religious systems. These changes may play a role in the emergence of a common model of secularism that will, without completely eliminating national differences in terms of regulating belief, bring these countries closer together under a relatively unified system of “cooperative separation”.
Philip Portier is a professor at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (Paris-Sorbonne), and Director of the Group Societies, Religions and Secularism (EPHE-CNRS). His research focuses mainly on the comparative analysis of secular regimes, the sociology and the philosophy of French secularism, the relationship religion / politics, the sociology of Catholicism in European societies. He recently published Pluralisme religieux et citoyenneté, Rennes, Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2009 (dir. with M. Milot et J.P. Willaime), Théories de l’évolution et religions, Paris, Rive neuve Editions, 2011 (dir. with M. Veuille et J.-P. Willaime), Droit, éthique et religion. De l’âge théologique à l’âge bioéthique, Bruxelles, Bruylant, 2012 (dir. with B. Feuillet).