Religion and the Open Society

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

This symposium will examine how the different forms of Christianity and Islam may have helped, and sometimes hindered, the development of free and open societies - not just in the narrow sense of democratic government but in the broader sense of openness to progress, innovation, an entrepreneurial spirit in economics, and a competitive marketplace of ideas.

Session One: Religion, Pluralism, and Freedom of Inquiry

Peter L. Berger, Professor Emeritus of Religion, Sociology and Theology, and Director,
The Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs, Boston University
Mustafa Akyol, Deputy Editor, Turkish Daily News
Dalia Mogahed, Senior Analyst and Executive Director, The Center for Muslim Studies,
The Gallup Organization
Presider: George E. Rupp, President, International Rescue Committee

8:30 to 9:00 a.m. Breakfast Reception
9:00 to 10:15 a.m. Meeting

Session Two: Religion-State Relations

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

10:30 to 11:45 a.m. Meeting

Session Three: Religion, Innovation, and Economic Progress

Timur Kuran, Professor of Economics and Political Science, and Gorter Family Professor in Islam
and the Social Sciences, Duke University
Robert D. Woodberry
, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Texas at Austin
Third Speaker to be Announced
Presider: Peter Steinfels, Co-Director, Fordham Center on Religion and Culture

12:00 to 12:45 p.m. Buffet Lunch
12:45 to 2:00 p.m. Meeting

Top Stories on CFR



Exit polls indicate socialist candidate Luis Arce will become Bolivia’s next president. The peaceful vote signaled an end to a year of electoral uncertainty, but the victor will now confront social upheaval and economic hardship intensified by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Conflict Prevention

Peace negotiators often overlook a proven strategy to reduce conflict and advance stability: include women.