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Religion and the Open Society Symposium: Session Two: Religion-State Relations

Speakers: Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law, Emory University Law School
Noah Feldman, Professor of Law, Harvard Law School; Adjunct Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations
Philip Hamburger, Maurice and Hilda Friedman Professor of Law, Columbia University Law School
Presider: Walter Russell Mead, Henry A. Kissinger Senior Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy, Council on Foreign Relations
March 25, 2008

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Three experts discuss the interaction between religion and state around the world. Columbia University's Philip Hamburger points out one can hardly discuss a society without getting into its religion. Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im, professor of law at Emory University Law School, says a secular state is a prerequisite for him to be able to practice his religion of choice. But CFR's Noah Feldman says the idea of a secular state is not a universal value. He says if a state chooses to have an official state religion, provided it grants every individual the basic human right to religious liberty, "I think that's just fine."

This event is part of the Religion and Foreign Policy Symposia Series, which is made possible by the generous support of the Henry Luce Foundation.


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