CFP: [20th] Secularism and Globalisation in France and Ireland

full name / name of organization: 
Anne Goarzin
contact email: 

University of Rennes, France, May 23-24, 2008

Secularism and Globalisation in France and Ireland

The enlargement of the European Union and globalization have accompanied a
general process of secularisation of Europe. Today the separation ofChurch
andState is a common feature in the Western world, though some counter
examples such as theBritish Monarchy still exist. Such a trend has often
been described as an inevitable consequence of the spread of human rights,
seen as the rights of individuals protected bya State which has become
neutral in religious matters.

George Rupp, in his Globalization Challenged (Columbia University Press,
2006), gives a concise definition of this trend which he describes as “the
call of Western secular liberalism”, according to which religious and other
ideological views may be tolerated as long as they remain private
convictions that do not shape public outcomes. Globalization often appears,
to quote Ian Burruma (The New York Review of Books, 11 April 2002), as
“another word for ‘US imperialism.’”In this regard, comparisons between the
French and the Irish experiences may prove fruitful. In spite of the fact
that the French and the American Revolutions were often seen as sisters
born out of the Enlightenment, they bore fundamental differences: the
French Revolution was secular, while the American one had a strong
theological background. Today the French are defensive about their
perceived identity in the face of Hollywood, Microsoft, MacDonalds and
Sects, and the “exception culturelle” claim,in addition to Claude Hagege's
well-voiced stance on language, are evidence ofa strong suspicion as to the
real motives behind globalization. Today the American-Irish connection is
very strong, and a long history of migration has played a major part in
this process, but one must not forget that for a long time Irish
Catholicism considered American culture as yet another Anglo-Protestant threat.

Now, at the beginning of the third Christian millennium, we are not only in
the globalization revolution, but also in the post-modern era.

What will be the responses of people in this new era to the deep
insecurities produced by globalization?

Is it possible in this context that they may become more theological and
religious rather than ideological and secular? What alternatives exist?

The aim of the Conference will be to examine and compare the French and the
Irish experiences of these phenomena, and assess what understanding
andperspectives they may offer. The headings provided do not seek to be
prescriptive. Any other valid areas can also be examined.

Previous conferences have resulted in the publication of a selection of
essays and the proceedings from the Rennes meeting will therefore appear in
the third volume of Studies in Franco-Irish Relations series (Peter Lang).

Papers in French or English should be of 20 minutes duration and abstracts
of no more than 250 words must be submitted by Feb 4, 2008 to:

Dr. Eamon Maher,
National Centre for Franco-Irish Studies ,
ITT Dublin,
Dublin 24.
Phone: + 353 (0)1 4042871.


Dr. Yann Bévant,
Centre d’Etudes Irlandaises
UFR Langues
Université Rennes 2
35043 Rennes cedex
E-Mail :
Phone : + 0033 (0)299 141 628
Keynote speakers include :

Pr Peadar Kirby (Dublin City University)
Pr Catherine Maignant (Université Lille 3)

Scientific Committee :

CRBC members (CRBC is the umbrella CNRS research unit to which the CEI belongs)
Pr Jean Brihault (Rennes 2)
Pr Gwendal Denis (Rennes 2)
Pr Francis Favereau (Rennes 2)
Pr Anne Goarzin (Rennes 2)
Pr Herve Le Bihan (Rennes 2)

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Received on Tue Nov 20 2007 - 05:51:56 EST