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December 13, 2013

Christianity and Freedom: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives

From Cairo and Damascus to Tehran and Beijing, religious freedom is under siege. Ironically, it is Christianity—a faith that contributed decisively to the rise of religious liberty—that now finds itself increasingly persecuted around the world.
In view of this global crisis, Georgetown University’s Religious Freedom Project hosted a two-day conference in Rome highlighting Christianity’s contributions to the understanding and practice of freedom for all people. The conference presented findings from a two-year study by dozens of scholars concerning Christianity’s contributions to freedom. This event was co-sponsored by Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion and made possible by a generous grant from the Historical Society's Religion and Innovation in Human Affairs Program.

More information about the Christianity and Freedom project is available on the Religious Freedom Project's website.

>> Conference Program

>> Il programma della conferenza (in italiano)

>> Press Release

>> Presentation and research summaries

AGENDA

Friday, December 13, 2013, 9:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.


9:30-10:00 a.m. | Welcoming Remarks
Thomas Farr
Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, Christians and Religious Freedom

10:00-11:15 a.m. | The Terrible Facts: What is Happening to the World’s Christians?

Kirsten Powers (Moderator)
Paul Marshall, Who Persecutes Christians—and Why?
Todd Johnson, How Many Christians Are Persecuted?
Mariz Tadros, Where and How are Christians Persecuted?: Spotlight on Egypt and the Middle East

11:15-11:30 a.m. | Coffee break

11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m. | The First Thousand Years: Christianity’s Early Relationship to Freedom (as Persecuted and as Persecutor)

Timothy Samuel Shah (Moderator), Theological and Secular Arguments for Religious Freedom in Early Christian Thought
Robert Louis Wilken, The Christian Roots of Religious Freedom
John Rist, Augustine on Religious Freedom and Religious Coercion
Elizabeth DePalma Digeser, Lactantius’ Doctrine of Religious Freedom and Its Influence on Constantine
Ian Christopher Levy, Tolerance and Freedom in the Age of the Inquisition

1:00-3:00 p.m. | Lunch

3:00-4:15 p.m. | Christian Views on Dignity, Slavery, Proselytism, and Democracy

William Inboden (Moderator)
Kyle Harper, Christianity and the Roots of Human Dignity
Robert Woodberry, Protestant Missionaries: Cultural Imperialists or Agents of Democracy?
Donald Miller, Where the Spirit Leads: Pentecostalism and Freedom
Daniel Philpott, Christianity: A Straggler on the Road to Liberty?

4:15-4:30 p.m. | Coffee break

4:30-5:45 p.m. | Religious Freedom in the Lion’s Den?

Mariz Tadros (Moderator)
Anthony O’Mahony, The Contributions of Ancient Christian Communities to the Contemporary Middle East
Duane Alexander Miller and Philip Sumpter, Between the Hammer and the Anvil: Palestinian Christians in the Holy Land
Elizabeth Prodromou, Orthodox Christian Contributions to Freedom

6:00-7:30p.m. | Keynote Address by Professor Rémi Brague, God and Freedom: Biblical Roots of the Western Idea of Liberty.


Saturday, December 14, 2013, 11:00 a.m.-7:30 p.m.

11:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. | Opening address by Ken Starr

11:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. | Christians Among the Most Vulnerable: Empowering Women and the Poor in Developing Societies

Allen Hertzke (Moderator), Christian Contributions to the World’s Newest Nation
Rebecca Shah, Empowering Poor Women in Asia, Africa, and Latin America
Richard Burgess and Daniel McCain, Christianity and Freedom in Central and Northern Nigeria
Sara Singha, The Challenge and Leaven of Christian Communities in Pakistan

12:45 p.m. - 1:45 p.m. | Lunch

1:45 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. | Christianity and Freedom in Asia

Chad Bauman and James Ponniah, Growth and Challenges for Christianity in      India
Fenggang Yang, The Dynamism of Chinese Christianity
Robert Hefner and Marthen Tahun, Christianity and Religious Freedom in the World's Largest Muslim Nation
Reg Reimer, Christianity in Vietnam: Contributions to Freedom Amidst Adversity

3:00-4:15 p.m. | Would Europe or America Exist Without Christianity?

Roger Trigg (Moderator)
John Witte, Calvinist Contributions to Freedom in Early Modern Europe
David Little, Early Experiments in Religious Freedom in Colonial America
Matthew Franck, Christianity and Freedom in the American Founding

4:15-4:30 p.m. | Coffee break

4:30-5:45 p.m. | A conversation on Christianity and Freedom in the Future of the West

Matthew Franck (Moderator)
Roger Trigg
David Novak
Remi Brague
John Allen

6:00-7:30 p.m. | Keynote Address by Archbishop Louis Raphael Sako, Chaldean Patriarch of Iraq, Christianity Matters: What Middle Eastern Societies Will Lose If Christians Flee

Featuring

Rémi Brague

Rémi Brague

Rémi Brague is professor emeritus of Medieval and Arabic Philosophy at the University of Paris. He also teaches at the Ludwig-Maximilian-Universität of Munich where he holds the chair Romano Guardini and is a member of the Institut de France (Academy of Moral and Political Sciences). Brague was awarded the 2012 Ratzinger Prize by Pope Benedict XVI. He was the keynote speaker for the Christianity and Freedom Conference held in Rome in December 2013.

Louis Raphael I Sako

Louis Raphael I Sako

His Beatitude Mar Louis Raphael I Sako is the newly elevated Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Babylon, the head of the Chaldean Catholic Church. He holds a doctorate in Eastern Patristics from the Pontifical Oriental Institute and in History from the University of Paris-Sorbonne. Patriarch Sako held the office of rector of the Patriarchal Seminary in Baghdad before being elected as archbishop of Kirkuk in 2003. As archbishop, he promoted religious tolerance and cooperation along with other religious leaders in Kirkuk. Patriarch Sako has published several articles and books on the Fathers of the Church. At the "Christianity and Freedom" conference in December 2013, Patriarch Sako delivered a keynote address in which he demonstrated that Christianity is integral to the Middle East and played a pivotal role in Arab civilization.

Dominique François Joseph Mamberti

Dominique François Joseph Mamberti

Archbishop Dominique François Joseph Mamberti is the Secretary for Relations with States in the Roman curia. He was appointed Secretary for Relations with States by Pope Benedict XVI in September 2006. Previously, he was appointed by Pope John Paul II to be titular archbishop of Sagona, apostolic nuncio to Sudan, and apostolic delegate to Somalia. Born in Marrakesh, Morocco, Mamberti went on to earn academic degrees in civil and canon law and was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Ajaccio, France in 1981. During his career in the diplomatic service of the Holy See, he has worked in Algeria, Chile, Lebanon, and the United Nations in New York. Archbishop Mamberti is a leading authority on Latin America, the United Nations, Africa, the Middle East, and Islam.

Participants

John Allen

John Allen

John L. Allen Jr. is the senior correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter and the senior Vatican analyst for CNN; in February 2014 he will move to the Boston Globe as associate editor to explore the launch of a free-standing publication on...
Chad Bauman

Chad Bauman

Chad Bauman, an Associate Professor of Religion at Butler University, is an expert on religion and society in India. His earliest research focused on the interaction of low-caste Christians and Hindus in colonial Chhattisgarh, a state in India...
Richard Burgess

Richard Burgess

Richard Burgess is an honorary fellow at the University of Birmingham and a lecturer in Theology at the University of Roehamptonin in the United Kingdom. Burgess is an expert on global Pentecostalism, with a specialization in the study of Nigerian...
Elizabeth Depalma Digeser

Elizabeth Depalma Digeser

Elizabeth Depalma Digeser is the department chair and professor of History at the University of California, Santa Barbara and is one of the world’s leading authorities on early Christian thought. Her focus is on the intersection of religion and...
Thomas Farr

Thomas Farr

Full List of Publications

Thomas F. Farr is director of the Religious Freedom Project at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and a visiting associate professor of religion and international affairs at Georgetown’s Edmund A....
Matthew J. Franck

Matthew J. Franck

Matthew J. Franck is director of the William E. and Carol G. Simon Center on Religion and the Constitution at the Witherspoon Institute and a visiting lecturer in Politics at Princeton University. Professor emeritus of Political Science at Radford...
Kyle Harper

Kyle Harper

Kyle Harper is Director of the Institute for the American Constitutional Heritage, Senior Vice Provost, and an Associate Professor in Classics and Letters at the University of Oklahoma. Harper is an accomplished scholar of religion and society in...
Robert Hefner

Robert Hefner

Robert W. Hefner, a professor of Anthropology and director of Boston University’s Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs, is among the world’s most distinguished scholars of the culture, anthropology, and politics of Muslim societies....
Allen Hertzke

Allen Hertzke

Allen Hertzke is Presidential Professor of Political Science at the University of Oklahoma and faculty fellow in Religious Freedom for OU’s Institute for the American Constitutional Heritage. Hertzke is an associate scholar with the Berkley...
William Inboden

William Inboden

William Inboden is associate professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and executive director of the Clements Center for History, Strategy, and Statecraft at the University of Texas-Austin. He is also a distinguished scholar at the Strauss...
Todd Johnson

Todd Johnson

Todd Johnson is the Director and Associate Professor of Global Christianity at the Center for the Study of Global Christianity (CSGC) at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He is the world’s leading expert on religious demography in general and...
Byron Johnson

Byron Johnson

Byron Johnson is the director of Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion and Distinguished Professor of Social Sciences there. Johnson is a leading authority on the scientific study of religion, the efficacy of faith-based...
Ian Christopher Levy

Ian Christopher Levy

Ian Christopher Levy, a Professor of Historical Theology at Providence College, is an eminent scholar of medieval Christian thought. His publications include Holy Scripture and the Quest for Authority at the End of the Middle Ages (Notre Dame,...
David Little

David Little

David Little, a Research Fellow at Georgetown University’s Berkley Center, is a leading authority on the history of religious freedom, ethics and human rights, and religion and conflict resolution. Little retired in 2009 as T.J. Dermot Dunphy...
Dominique François Joseph Mamberti

Dominique François Joseph Mamberti

Archbishop Dominique François Joseph Mamberti is the Secretary for Relations with States in the Roman curia. He was appointed Secretary for Relations with States by Pope Benedict XVI in September 2006. Previously, he was appointed by Pope John...
Paul Marshall

Paul Marshall

Paul Marshall is a Senior Fellow of the Center for Religious Freedom at the Hudson Institute. Among the world’s leading scholars of religious freedom, Paul Marshall played a pivotal role in directing the world’s attention to the modern crisis of...
Daniel McCain

Daniel McCain

Daniel McCain, the founder of the International Institute for Christian Studies (IICS), is a scholar and practitioner who provides a grassroots perspective on Christian contributions to freedom in Nigeria. His International Institute for Christian...
Donald E. Miller

Donald E. Miller

Donald E. Miller is Firestone Professor of Religion and the Executive Director of the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at the University of Southern California. Miller’s research focuses on global religious trends, new patterns of religious...
D. Alexander Miller

D. Alexander Miller

Duane Alexander Miller is an expert on the Arab Christian communities of Israel and Palestine, past and present. His research interests include church history and mission studies. With Philip Sumpter, he is currently co-editing a book on...
David Novak

David Novak

David Novak holds the J. Richard and Dorothy Shiff Chair of Jewish Studies as Professor of the Study of Religion and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Toronto since 1997. He is a member of The Centre for Ethics, a part of the Joint...
Anthony O'Mahony

Anthony O'Mahony

Anthony O’Mahony is a reader in Theology and the History of Christianity at Heythrop College at the University of London. O’Mahony is among the world’s leading scholars of Middle Eastern Christianity. He was founding director of the Centre for...
Daniel Philpott

Daniel Philpott

Daniel Philpott, a professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for Peace Studies and an associate scholar with the Berkley Center's Religious Freedom Project, specializes in the relationship between religion and...
James Ponniah

James Ponniah

James Ponniah is the Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy and an Associate Professor in the Department of Indian Studies at Jnana Deepa Vidaypeeth University in India. Ponniah specializes in popular religious movements in India. Ponniah published The...
Kirsten A. Powers

Kirsten A. Powers

Kirsten A. Powers is an American political pundit and columnist. She began her career as a Democratic Party operative with the Clinton-Gore presidential transition team in 1992 followed by an appointment as Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade...
Elizabeth Prodromou

Elizabeth Prodromou

Elizabeth Prodromou is an Affiliate Scholar at Harvard University’s Center for European Studies and Director of International Affairs at the Hellenic American Leadership Council. Prodromou is a prominent political scientist whose research...
Reg Reimer

Reg Reimer

Reg Reimer is an expert on Evangelical Protestant Christianity in Vietnam, having served there as a missionary from 1966 to 1975, and having completed some 100 missions to Vietnam since 1980. He has carefully documented political and social...
John Rist

John Rist

John Rist holds the Father Kurt Pritzl, O.P., Chair in Philosophy at the Catholic University of America. His areas of interest include ancient Philosophy, Neoplatonism, Patristics, and Ethics. He is the author of numerous books, including What is...
Timothy Shah

Timothy Shah

Timothy Samuel Shah is associate director of the Religious Freedom Project at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and visiting assistant professor in the Government Department, Georgetown University. He is a political...
Rebecca Shah

Rebecca Shah

Rebecca Samuel Shah is a research fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and an associate scholar with the Berkley Center's Religious Freedom Project. Shah is the project leader of a research initiative on religion,...
Sara Singha

Sara Singha

Sara Singha, a doctoral candidate in Theology at Georgetown University, is an emerging scholar of religion and society in Pakistan and the rest of South Asia. Originally from Karachi, Singha does comparative research on Christianity and Islam, and...
Mariz Tadros

Mariz Tadros

Mariz Tadros is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex. She is a political scientist specializing in the politics and human development of the Middle East, with a focus on democratization, Islamist...
Marthen Tahun

Marthen Tahun

Marthen Tahun is a member of the coordinating team for researching the growing Pentecostal Charismatic movement in Indonesia, a two-year research project in five different cities in Indonesia. In August 2010 he became a research staff member of...
Roger Trigg

Roger Trigg

Roger Trigg, of St Cross College, Oxford, is senior research fellow in the Ian Ramsey Centre, University of Oxford, and a member of Oxford's faculties of philosophy and of theology and religion. From 2007 to 2011, he served as principal...
Robert Louis Wilken

Robert Louis Wilken

Robert Louis Wilken is an Emeritus William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of the History of Christianity at the University of Virginia and a Distinguished Fellow at the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology. Wilken is a highly distinguished scholar of...
John Witte, Jr.

John Witte, Jr.

John Witte Jr. is the Jonas Robitscher Professor of Law, Alonzo L. McDonald Distinguished Professor, and the director of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University. Witte is among the world’s leading experts on religion and...
Robert Woodberry

Robert Woodberry

Robert Woodberry is an associate professor of Political Science and director of the Project on Religion and Economic Change at the National University of Singapore. He is also a non-resident scholar at Baylor University's Institute for Studies of...
Yang Fenggang

Yang Fenggang

Fenggang Yang is a Professor of Sociology and the Director of the Center on Religion and Chinese Society (CRCS) at Purdue University. Yang is among the world’s leading scholars of religion in China and of immigrant religion in the United States....