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Religious encounters - between coexistence and cohabitation

Rencontres religieuses : entre coexistence et cohabitation

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Published on Wednesday, January 10, 2018


Dans la continuité du colloque international, « Pouvoir, expressions et représentations », organisé au sein du Calhiste en 2015, le colloque international Rencontres religieuses : entre coexistence et cohabitation invite les chercheurs américains et espagnols, et des sphères culturelles qui leur sont proches, à se pencher sur les notions de laïcité, de religion, et sur les rapports que celles-ci peuvent entretenir avec les institutions politiques ou spirituelles. Nous aborderons également les notions de cohabitation et de coexistence, aussi bien d’un point de vue diachronique que synchronique, en prêtant une attention particulière aux arguments et aux contextes qui rendent possibles ces rencontres ou qui, au contraire, provoquent des confrontations entre les différents points de vue.


Faculté de Lettres Langues Arts et Sciences Humaines, Université de Valenciennes et du Hainaut-Cambrésis


Following in the footsteps of the international conference organized under the sponsorship of the Calhiste in 2015, Power: Expressions and Representations, the conference, Religious Encounters: between Coexistence and Cohabitation targets study of the United States, Spain and those countries that fall within the American and Spanish/cultural spheres of influence. Oriented by the themes of cohabitation and coexistence, this international forum invites researchers to examine the dynamic between secularity, religion, and government. The backdrop for such study is provided by the practical realities involved in both Spanish and American governance. For example, while the Spanish Constitution of 1978 stipulates that the Spanish State is a non-confessional constitutional monarchy, the role of religious institutions and their influence on the exercise of power is a recurrent issue of contemporary cultural and political debate. Similarly, despite avowed church/state separation, the special relationship between religion and government in the United States remains one of the nation’s most well known, defining, and significant characteristics. Sometime partner, sometime antagonist, religion has been a pillar in American governance and, just as in Spain, constitutes a fundamental and often controversial subject in the study of the nation.

Analyses will be diachronic as well as synchronic, with researchers being asked to pay special attention to those arguments and contexts which make possible the “encounters,” whether they be harmonious, neutral, or antagonistic.

Suggestions for analysis

I - It is obvious that in contemporary secular societies, issues such as the wearing of religious signs, the organization of religious events, same-sex marriage, and abortion engender debate concerning the place and meaning of religious practice. It is also equally obvious that defining how a specific society must be a-religious depends on reflection that takes into account its specific individual and institutional religious expressions.

A first axis for research may therefore be the analysis of the specificity of: 1) American and Spanish secularism as seen through the themes of religious cohabitation and coexistence, and; 2) inversely, the relationship that the different creeds maintain with temporal powers.

II - Despite the desire to construct a secular society, religious practice remains a sensitive issue in our societies and its socio-political importance may emerge from the virulent actions such practice can engender. The desecration of the university chapels at the University of Madrid, the burning of black churches in the United States, and the recurrent destruction of places of worship in general are a constant reminder of how religious discourse may be perceived as a political and cultural threat.

Consequently, a second axis for research may be the analysis of: 1) the violence carried out in the name of, or against, religious beliefs; 2) the ideological, economic, or cultural motivations which drive this violence and; 3) the responses provided by the judicial system and the media.

III - Found on the cultural frontiers of history, the problematics elicited by this conference seem to have always thrived within the opposed movements of expansionism and concentration. For example, political expansion, such as that of the Roman Empire, of medieval Islam or of Christian Hispania irrevocably prompted the incorporation of populations that did not share the same beliefs. The question of assimilation or exclusion of minority communities then became a question concerning the domestic policy and, even, the economic survival of a region. Moreover, the discovery and progressive economic and political conquest of the New world by European and Oriental populations brought about a concentration of diverse cultural practices that: 1) established specific economic and social relationships and; 2) constructed a new, far more cosmopolitan society. To better understand the development of contemporary relationships concerning religious identity, a third axis of research may be the analysis of how past situations grounded in the history of our societies are presented as arguments or justifications within the parameters of modern debate.

Submission guidelines 

Proposals will be accompanied by a brief CV (maximum two pages), an e-mail address, and a summary of 30 lines in French/

Deadline: February 15, 2018

Conference date: November 29-30, 2018

Conference languages: English, Spanish, French

Publication languages: English, Spanish, French

Scientific committee 

  • M Benbarka, Mokhtar, Pr, Calhiste, FLLASH
  • M Chandler, John, MCF, Calhiste, FLLASH
  • M Grégorio, Daniel, HDR, Calhiste, FLLASH


  • FLLASH - Le Mont Houy
    Valenciennes, France (59)


  • Thursday, February 15, 2018


  • religion, coexistence, cohabitation, conflit, minorités, institution, politique


  • Daniel Gregorio
    courriel : Daniel [dot] Gregorio [at] uphf [dot] fr
  • John Chandler
    courriel : ColloqueRencontres2018 [at] univ-valenciennes [dot] fr
  • Moktar Ben Barka
    courriel : ColloqueRencontres2018 [at] univ-valenciennes [dot] fr

Information source

  • Daniel Gregorio
    courriel : Daniel [dot] Gregorio [at] uphf [dot] fr


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Religious encounters - between coexistence and cohabitation », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Wednesday, January 10, 2018, https://doi.org/10.58079/z92

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