The capstone workshop for the “Politics of Religious Freedom: Contested Norms and Local Practices” project was held at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois on October 17-18, 2013. This was the concluding public event of a three-year project, funded by the Luce Foundation of New York, to study the politics of religious freedom in a variety of contexts, including Europe, South Africa, the Middle East, the U.S., and South Asia.
This workshop advanced one of the distinctive contributions of the project as a whole, which is to consider the relation between American and European debates about religious freedom and the legal governance of religious difference in other parts of the world, including the Middle East and North Africa, South Africa, as well as South and Southeast Asia. The concluding workshop discussed project findings and new directions for future research through a structured series of roundtable discussions of critical themes and topics that emerged in the course of the project. We were particularly interested in exploring the possibility of “what comes after religious freedom?” In other words, what were the central themes and topics that emerged in the course of this project, and how might we “change the subject,” pointing academic and policy-related discussions toward new ways of posing and considering questions involving religion and religious difference under (various forms of) law? The capstone also featured a panel of junior scholars working on the topic, as well as a presentation of legal cases and commentaries involving religious freedom that were compiled as part of the Luce project.