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Secularism on the Edge: The Church & the State in the United States, France & Israel

SFS Program for Jewish Civilization

Friday, February 22, 2013 from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM (EST)

Washington, DC

Secularism on the Edge: The Church & the State in the...

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Day Three of the Program for Jewish Civilization's conference on secularism in the United States, France & Israel. 

Refreshments will be available through out the conference.  RSVP is requested.

Co-sponsored by the BMW Center for German and European Studies, the Department of French, and the Department of Government.


9:00 AM – 11:00 AM PANEL IV: “Women and Secularism: Problems and Possibilities”
Pascale Fournier
Ariela Keysar, “Freedom of Choice: Women and Demography in the Mediterranean and the US”
Rev. Susan Thistlethwaite, “In the Eyes of Patriarchal Religion, All Women are Secular: What Can We Learn from This?”

Pascale Fournier is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law (Civil Law Section) and Holder of the University of Ottawa Research Chair in Legal Pluralism and Comparative Law. Professor Fournier received her LL.B from Laval University (1997), her LL.M. from the University of Toronto (2000) and her S.J.D. from Harvard Law School (2007). A Fulbright and Trudeau scholar, she served as Law Clerk to Justice L’Heureux-Dubé at the Supreme Court of Canada in 2000-2001. Her scholarship focuses on Islam and Judaism in Europe and North America, comparative family law, human rights, criminal law and cultural diversity, and critical approaches to law.

In 2008, she served as expert consultant for the United Nations Development Programme on issues of gender and Islamic law in Tunisia, Egypt, Malaysia and Nigeria. She was awarded the Laval University Raymond-Blais Medal (2008), the Québec Bar Association’s Advocatus Emeritus distinction (2009), the University of Ottawa President’s Award for Excellence in Media Relations (2011) and the Fulbrighter of the Month distinction (November 2011). Her work has appeared in leading reviews and her publications were selected by the Harvard-Stanford Junior Faculty Forum (2008), the Québec Bar Foundation prize for “best law review article” (2009), and the Canadian Association of Law Teachers Scholarly Paper Award (Honorable Mention / 2010). Her most recent book isMuslim Marriage in Western Courts: Lost in Transplantation.

Dr. Keysar, a demographer, is Associate Research Professor of Public Policy and Law and the Associate Director of the Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture(ISSSC) at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. She was a principal investigator of theAmerican Religious Identification Survey 2008, the largest survey of religion in the U.S., covering over 50,000 respondents. She was also a principal investigator of the ISSSC web survey of Indian scientists, which is the first in a series of studies of worldviews and opinions of scientists around the world. Ariela Keysar was the study director of the American Jewish Identity Survey 2001 and the associate director of the Longitudinal Study of Young Jews Raised in Conservative Synagogues, 1995-2003.

Dr. Keysar is co-editor of Secularism, Women & The State: The Mediterranean World in the 21st Century; Secularism and Science in the 21st Century; and Secularism & Secularity: Contemporary International Perspectives. She is co-author of Religion in a Free Market and The Next Generation: Jewish Children and Adolescents.

Rev. Thistlethwaite is a Senior Fellow at American Progress. She is also Professor of Theology at Chicago Theological Seminary and its former president between 1998 and 2008. An ordained minister of the United Church of Christ since 1974, she is the author and/or editor of numerous books, and has worked on two different translations of the bible. Thistlethwaite is currently working in a new area she calls “Public Theology” and a new book on human nature and public policy. She writes a weekly column for the Washington Post “On Faith” online section and is a frequent media commentator on religion and public events.

Have questions about Secularism on the Edge: The Church & the State in the United States, France & Israel? Contact SFS Program for Jewish Civilization

When & Where


Edward B. Bunn, S.J. Intercultural Center, Auditorium
Georgetown University
Washington, DC 20057

Friday, February 22, 2013 from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM (EST)


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