Religions such as Christianity, Judaism and Islam have universalistic potentials; at the same time, they have manifold traditions of confining morality to the internal life of religious and political communities. Secular universalism arose not least from the effort to construct a universalistic morality beyond all confessional traditions out of the factual particularism of religions.
Religious and secularistic concepts of Universalism/Particularism
Religious and secular-humanist justifications of universalism intertwined since the Enlightenment. Since the Romantic period, a close connection of religious and secular particularist semantics can also be observed. The conference is especially interested in religious or secular concepts that have acquired political relevance in recent contemporary history.
The conference also studies the competition of liberal, at least superficially secular designs of political orders (e.g. the Charter of Paris 1990 or the model of economic globalization) with religiously charged models of order in contemporary European history.
Universalist religious concepts often reject neoliberal economic globalization and the primacy of free markets. Specific foci and the extent of this critique, as well as designs for alternative orders, vary widely: from a discussion of the restriction of markets to the conception of alternative global economic institutions. Particularist religious discourses, on the other hand, often support particularist economic practices.
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