Image for Tony Blair Says Religion in the Public Realm Is Vital

Religion isn't dying, nor should it, said Tony Blair in a 2 January 2012 blogpost "Faith in a Globalized Age," published on New Europe Online. The former British Prime Minister note that "for years, it was assumed, certainly in the West, that, as society developed, religion would wither away.  But it hasn't, and, at the start of a new decade, it is time to take religion seriously." To that end Blair has created a Faith Foundation, "to create greater understanding between the faiths."

In a companion post, "Taking Faith Seriously," published the same day,... more

Image for Geneva, March-April 2011:  Resolution Focuses on Individual Religious Freedom Rights

From the Associated Press: The U.N.'s top human rights body has replaced its traditional condemnation of religious 'defamation' with a resolution underlining the right of individuals to freedom of belief. The unanimous vote Thursday by the 47-member U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva was welcomed by... more

13 April 2011 - European Parliament, Committee on Petitions

Following the recent judgment (Lautsi and Others v. Italy, no. 30814/06) of the European Court of Human Rights concerning the presence of crucifixes in Italian State-school classrooms, the Committee on Petitions of the European Parliament on 13.04.2011 discussed a petition [Petition 1594/2010 by Gabriele Cervi (Italian), on maintaining crucifixes in Italian schools] where the petitioner argues in favour of the respect for national identities and traditions of the Member States of the Union with reference to their common heritage and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. 

This blurb tracks responsible commentary concerning the controversial "Italian crucifix" case, particularly in light of the recent Grand Chamber judgment (Lautsi and Others v. Italy) announced by the European Court of Human Rights on 18 March 2011. The opinions appearing here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of members of the Strasbourg Consortium. We will strive for a balance in ideas, and we invite the particpation of any who wish to join the discussion. Of course, we must reserve the right to judge the suitability for our audience of any comments we receive.

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Fr. Lombardi is wrong; the judgment isn't about Europe's Christian roots.  (William Oddie, Catholic Herald,... more

March-April 2009 - Durham, England

A conference was held at St Chad's College, Durham University, in the historic city of Durham, England, on 30 March - 1 April 2009, sponsored by the British Sociological Association, Sociology of Religion Study Group.  The theme of the conference was "Religion and Knowledge," and it featured stimulating sessions on a variety of themes, some of perennial importance, others emerging from recent debates, taking place within presenters' disciplines or in the wider public square. Presenters included Professor Steve Fuller of the... more