Lecture / Reading

The Limits of Tolerance: Religious Symbols in the Public Space in France and the United States

Sponsored by Humanities Center


Monday, February 25, 2013
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
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Humanities Center, Levinthal Hall
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Denis Lacorne- Bliss Carnochan Lecturer, Humanities Center

France and the United States share common principles on the separation of church and state, secularism, laïcité. Both countries have seen similar discussions in the search for “reasonable accommodations” of religious symbols and practices.  In applying these practices, however, the French state and the U.S. government act quite differently, particularly in the regulation of religious symbols in the public space. This talk will examine reasons for this apparent “tolerance gap” between the two societies. Examples include the display of crosses, the Ten Commandments, and yarmulkes in the United States, and Islamic headscarves, niqabs (face veils), crucifixes and kippas in France.

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Free and open to the public

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