Media gallery

(l-r) Peter O’Brien, Dr. Akan Malici, Eric Kaufmann and Dr. Brent Nelson

National Conferences

Religion in Europe
October 29 – 30, 2008

The Riley Institute and the Department of Political Science sponsored a two-day conference to discuss the current state of religion in Europe. Is religion dying in Europe? What is the impact of Islam on European Politics? The conference included two public addresses and a panel discussion by two well-renowned experts on these subjects.

On Wednesday, October 29, at 4:00 p.m. in Johns Hall 101, Eric Kaufmann delivered an address, “Sacralization by Stealth?: Religion Returns to Europe.”

On Thursday, October 30, at 6:00 p.m. in Johns Hall 101, Peter O’Brien delivered an address, “Immigration, Religion, and Political Philosophy in Europe: The Headscarf Controversy” followed by a panel discussion that included Peter O’Brien, Eric Kaufmann, Akan Malici, assistant professor of the Department of Political Science at Furman, and Brent Nelsen, professor and then-chair of the Department of Political Science at Furman .

About Eric Kaufmann

Eric Kaufmann is Reader in Politics and Sociology at Birkbeck College, University of London where he directs the Masters Programme in Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict. In 2008 – 2009, Kaufmann was Research Fellow in the Religion in International Politics/International Security Initiative, Belfer Center, Kennedy School, at Harvard University.  He was awarded the 2008 Richard Rose Prize of the Political Studies Association for best research published on British politics by a scholar under 40.

Kaufmann is the author of several books including Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth? (Profile, 2010), The Orange Order: A Contemporary Northern Irish History (Oxford 2007), Unionism and Orangeism in Northern Ireland Since 1945, with Henry Patterson (Manchester University Press, 2007), The Rise and Fall of Anglo-America (Harvard University Press, 2004).  He is editor of Rethinking Ethnicity: Majority Groups and Dominant Minorities (Routledge, 2004).  He has published numerous journal articles and his recent work on religious demography has appeared in the Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion as well as in Newsweek and Prospect magazines.

During his fellowship at Harvard, his research examined the future religious composition of the United States, Europe, Israel and the Muslim world, as well as the demography and future size of Republican and Democratic party identifiers in the United States.

About Peter O’Brien

Peter O’Brien is Professor of Political Science at Trinity University and an expert on Islam in Europe. His research focuses on Europe’s relations with non-Europeans: Islamophobia and Anti-Americanism.

His most recent book is European Perceptions of Islam & America from Saladin to George W. Bush: Europe’s Fragile Ego Uncovered (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009). The book examines how frail self-esteem has played a significant role in the formation of European identity. He is also the author of Beyond the Swastika (Routledge, 1996), a study of the impact of the legacy of the Holocaust on postwar German immigration policy. In addition, he has published numerous articles on the presence of Islam in Europe.

O’Brien received his B.A. from Kalamazoo College and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was a Fulbright Senior Lecturer at Bosporus University in Istanbul during 1995-1996 and a Fulbright Senior Scholar at the Humboldt University in Berlin during 2005-2006.