of all European Affairs Events, conferences, presentations and workshops.

Conference Religion in Public Life


07 Apr 2014 10:30 to 13:00


Stanhope Hotel
Rue du Commerce 9
1000  Brussels


Languages & Culture

Event Location


Event Description

The Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies cordially invites you to the conference ‘Religion in Public Life.’ The conference will focus on the role of religion in public life. 

Europe has been mostly a Christian continent for the past one thousand years. Influenced much more by changes in culture than by particular political regimes, we have been witnessing steady secularisation across the continent. Some argue that secularisation should be continued and encouraged, others call for a rechristianisation of the continent. These two opinions, and many others, exist in wider society as well as within the European centre-right. 

How religion is perceived can impact on public policy in many ways. The economic and financial crisis has caused many commentators to ask whether religion can play a positive role in encouraging more responsible economic behaviour by companies and individuals. The same question is being asked in the context of care for our environment. Within society, profound changes have been occurring in relation to issues such as marriage and homosexual relationships: what is the role of religion in formulating responses to these societal views?

Our conference will provide an opportunity to discuss these complex challenges.


12:30     Registration/light lunch

13:00     Welcome by Tomi Huhtanen, Director, Martens Centre


  • The Contribution of Religion to the Common Good, Hippolyte Louis Jean Simon, Archbishop of Clermont, France
  • The Role of the Individual Believer in Public Life, Rik Torfs, Rector of the KU Leuven

13:40     Question and answer session 

14:45     End of the conference / coffee


Moderator: Roland Freudenstein, Deputy Director and Head of Research, Martens Centre

Conference languages: English and French (simultaneous translation will be provided).


Please register for the event here.

Project coordination: Vít Novotný, Martens Centre,, +32 2 300 8008.



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