The Politics of Religion

Religion is a major force in political life, yet we are not supposed to discuss—or even name—its influence. This panel will go where others fear to tread. In their desire to control reproduction, patriarchal religions have sought to control women and viewed them as a threat to their power. Religious political influence is a challenge to the separation of church and state—a unique and apparently still radical distinction made by the framers of the U.S. Constitution and a cornerstone of the French Republic. It is also an internalized problem for women and men who have been raised in patriarchal religions. Now, more than ever we need to expose the politics of religion, yet also preserve each person’s right to her or his spiritual beliefs.

This event is part of Festival Albertine 2017. All events are free and open to the public. Seating is limited and available on a first come, first served basis.

Annie Laurie Gaylor co-founded the Freedom From Religion Foundation with her mother Anne Gaylor in 1976, after a feminist awakening, and is now co-president. She is also co-administrator of the Women’s Medical Fund charity. Books include Woe to the Women: The Bible Tells Me So and Women Without Superstition.
Delphine Horvilleur is a French female rabbi, a writer and chief editor of the magazine Tenou’a. She makes frequent appearances in the media. Following her books, En tenue d’Eve (2013) and Comment les Rabbins font les enfants (2015), she will publish Les milles et une façons d’être Juif ou Musulman aujourd’hui with Rachid Benzine in the fall 2017.
Daisy Khan is Founder and Executive Director of the Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality (WISE), a women-led organization committed to peacebuilding, equality, and justice for Muslims around the globe. Ms. Khan recently launched WISE’s most ambitious peacebuilding tool, WISE Up, a book and campaign aimed at fighting extremism and Islamophobia. 
Wassyla Tamzali, a former director of Women’s Rights at UNESCO, has published several books on the importance of secularism, particularly in Arab and Maghrebi societies. She is a strong advocate for the rights of all women, regardless of their backgrounds and religious affiliations, and has widely contributed to the debate on Arab uprisings and revolutions.
Clémence Boulouque is an Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies in the Religion Department at Columbia University where she focuses on philosophy, psychoanalysis and interreligious encounters. A former radio host and book critique, she is also the author of a dozen novels and essays published by Gallimard in her native France. 
Watch this event live via Livestream on Nov. 4 at 7:30pm (EST). 
Festival Albertine is made possible with major support from The Recanati-Kaplan Foundation, Susannah Hunnewell, Van Cleef & Arpels, Air France, Fondation CHANEL, and Institut français. Generous support is provided by Champagne Pommery and Intercontinental New York Barclay.
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