Religion and the State
Coordinated by Ira Katznelson (Columbia University) and Miri Rubin (Queen Mary, University of London), Religion and the State is a forum for intellectual encounter between social scientists and historians, through the sharing of concepts and expertise. It began in 2001 with the examination of the role of minorities in state formation, by applying sociological concepts on political and state-formation to the historical case of the Jews of medieval Europe. The project has since extended to the consideration of issues of race, ethnicity, and identity as pertaining to individuals, communities and polities in early modern Europe. The interaction between historical case-studies and concepts evolving in contemporary social sciences offers all participants a challenging intellectual environment. The encounters have resulted in new and exciting work by those who have taken part, which has spread through teaching and publications.
This strand will extend a programme of earlier meetings devoted to exploring interconnections between religion and the state. The annual sessions have focused primarily on medieval and early modern Europe, with particular attention to Christian-Jewish relations, but also with reference to Islam and always with awareness of challenges and questions raised by contemporary events.
The July 2006 meeting took place on July 24-25 2006. The theme was Conversion.
A conference took place at the Open University, Tel Aviv, Israel on 13-14 November 2007. This was a follow-up to the Conversion meeting in Cambridge in 2006 and brought together a group of authors contributing towards a volume on the theme of Conversion. Click for the programme, participants, and conference report.