Freedom to Flourish: Is Religious Freedom Necessary for Peace, Prosperity, and Democracy?

October 9-10, 2013
Location: Copley Hall Copley Formal Lounge Map

Since its inception in 2011 the Religious Freedom Project has conducted a wide-ranging conversation among policymakers, scholars, and the media on the meaning and value of religious freedom. This conversation has yielded a great deal of light, and, truth be told, a fair amount of heat (religious freedom is, after all, a controversial subject).

A two-day capstone conference looked back over the project's first three years and looked forward, as well. It addressed the relationship between religious freedom and human flourishing. Top experts engaged in a series of rich and dynamic discussions around the proposition that religious freedom is not only a universal right but also a universal good—a key ingredient in the flourishing of individuals and societies everywhere.


October 9

Welcome and Introductions | Thomas Farr

Keynote Address: Why Everybody Everywhere Has a Right to Religious Freedom | Nicholas Wolterstorff

Response | Stephen Macedo

Conversation on Religious Freedom and Societal Flourishing | Stephen Macedo, Timothy Shah, Nicholas Wolterstorff

Panel One: Does Every Person Everywhere—Religious or Not—Need Religious Freedom? | Fr. Stephen Fields, S.J., Kristine Kalanges, Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, Christopher Tollefsen

Panel Two: Do Democracies Everywhere Need Religious Freedom to be Liberal—and to Last? | John DiIulio, Marci Hamilton, Mark Lilla, Daniel Philpott, Mark Rienzi

October 10

Welcome and Introductions

Panel One: Does Religious Freedom Undermine Terrorism and Conflict and Foster Secure Societies? | Thomas Farr, Brian Grim, Will Inboden, John Owen, Tamara Wittes

Keynote Conversation: Whither the First Freedom? Debating the Current State and Possible Future of Religious Liberty in America | E.J. Dionne, Ross Douthat, Jane Little, Ken Starr

Panel Two: Does Religious Freedom Promote Economic Freedom and Prosperity Everywhere? | Ilan Alon, William Inboden, Timur Kuran, Ian Linden, Rebecca Shah

Panel Three: What is the Evidence that Religious Freedom is Necessary for the Political Success of Free Societies? | Tony Gill, Daniel Philpott, Nukhet Sandal, Ani Sarkissian, Timothy Shah

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