Inaugural Symposium: Christianity and Freedom: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives
Political turbulence in the Middle East poses a grave threat to some of the oldest and most vibrant Christian communities in the world. Within the West, debates about the roots of freedom have often sidestepped the contributions of Christians and Christian ideas. Against this backdrop, the Religious Freedom Project launched a major initiative on "Christianity and Freedom: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives," a two-year exploration of Christianity’s contributions to the construction and diffusion of freedom in its political, religious, and economic dimensions, in interaction with other religious traditions and secular ideas and institutions.
The morning panel explored historical contributions of Christianity to the development of freedom, from the early church to the rise of liberal democracies. The second panel explored the current contributions of Christian minorities to the development of freedom in their societies, as well as the persecution they often face.
10:00am - 12:00pm: Historical Perspectives
Participants: David Little, Timothy Shah (moderator), Robert Wilken, Robert Woodberry
12:00 - 12:30pm: Lunch
12:30 - 2:30pm: Contemporary Perspectives
Participants: Yvonne Haddad, Allen Hertzke (moderator), Mariz Tadros, Kurt Werthmuller