Convening 19 January 2021 Online (Zoom)
Toleration in Comparative Perspective: Concepts, Practices, Documents
January 19-23, 2021

Location: Online Zoom Webinar – Please register here.

You can find the official event page here.

A complete list of speakers is obtainable here. 

Reset Dialogues on Civilizations is proud to work with The Center for Democracy, Toleration and Religion to host the conference “Toleration in Comparative Perspective: Concepts, Practices, Documents” from January 19-23, 2021, over Zoom. The conference  gathers scholars to talk about the ways in which religious toleration has been articulated and practiced in places and periods outside of modern “Western” history. Each day will feature a thematic panel — on spaces, philosophy, law, political theory and textual interpretation — that brings together speakers from across fields and disciplines. The conference will begin with a keynote address by Professor Denis Lacorne, of Sciences Po.


Tuesday, January 19 (9:30am – 1pm PST // 12:30pm – 4pm EST)

9:30am  – Introduction and Welcome: Karen Barkey and Jonathan Laurence

9:50am – Keynote Address: Religious Tolerance Revisited –Denis Lacorne (Sciences Po)

11am – Panel: Thinking Toleration


Wednesday, January 20 (11am – 1pm PST // 2pm – 4pm EST)

Panel: Minorities, Pluralism, Law

  • Toleration: Thought and Practice in the Societies of the Medieval Islamic World  – Lev Weitz (Catholic University of America)
  • The Elusive Toleration of Islam in Europe – Jonathan Laurence (Boston College)
  • The Way “has” not a Constant Name. State Attitudes to Religious Toleration in Chinese History – Eugenio Menegon (Boston University)
  • Commenter: Karen Barkey (UC Berkeley)


Thursday, January 21 (11am – 1pm PST // 2pm – 4pm EST)

Panel: Sacred Space and Tolerance

  • PAPER TITLE TBA – Charlotte Fonrobert (Stanford University)
  • Sounds of Emancipation: Politics, Identity, and Music in 19th-century Italian Synagogues – Francesco Spagnolo (UC Berkeley)
  • Intolerance Under the Guise of Tolerance: Religious Diversity in Thirteenth-century India – Elaine M. Fisher (Stanford University)
  • Tolerance and Rights: An Exploration of Medieval Canon Law – Alberto Melloni (University of Modena-Reggio)
  • Commenter: Anna Elisabetta Galeotti (University of Eastern Piedmont, Vercelli)


Friday, January 22 (9am – 11am PST // 12pm – 2pm EST)

Panel: Politics, Political Theory and Toleration

  • Politics, Political Theory and Toleration – Susanna Elm (UC Berkeley)
  • PAPER TITLE TBA – Sudipta Kaviraj (Columbia University)
  • Asoka’s Dhamma: social toleration or communal Harmony – Rajeev Bhargava (Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, New Delhi)
  • Church and State in the European Toleration Debates, 1555-1655 – Noah Dauber (Colgate University)
  • Commenter: Simon Brown (UC Berkeley)


Saturday, January 23 (11am – 1pm PST // 2pm – 4pm EST)

Panel: Text, Translation, Interpretation

  • Tolerance and Intolerance in the Hebrew Bible – Robert Alter (UC Berkeley)
  • Ecumenical Community, Introduction – Hamza Zafer (University of Washington)
  • Toleration, Religion, and the Enlightenment – William Bulman (Lehigh University)
  • Commenter: David Marno (UC Berkeley)


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