Interdisciplinary Summer School on Religious Freedom
On July 20-23, 2020, the Interdisciplinary Summer School on Religious Freedom took place. The event was organized by the Institute of Justice as part of a research “For the freedom to profess religion in the modern world. Counteracting the causes of discrimination and helping the persecuted on the example of Christians ” project, the implementation of which is conducted by the Institute of Justice Strategic Analysis Center and co-financed by the Justice Fund administered by the Minister of Justice.
The aim of the Summer School was to increase the knowledge about religious freedom, manifestations of discrimination and prejudice on the grounds of religion or belief, persecution due to religious beliefs and ways of counteracting crime in this regard.
The event was international and was aimed primarily at young scientists, PhD students and students. Polish and foreign experts specializing in the field of religious freedom were invited to participate in the Summer School: prof. Fernando Simón Yarza (University of Navarra), dr hab. Krzysztof Koźmiński (University of Warsaw), Dr. Georgia Duplessis (University of Leuven) and Dr. Jonathan Price (University of Oxford). Participants listened to lectures by invited guests, and also took part in lively discussions after each lecture session. At the same time, it was an opportunity for them to present, in a form of a short 15-minute speech, the results of their own research on the broadly understood issue of religious freedom.
The Interdisciplinary School on Religious Freedom began on July 20, 2020. The videoconference was officially opened by the Director of the Institute of Justice, Dr. hab. Marcin Wielec. Followed by Mr. Bartłomiej Oręziak – director of the Center for Strategic Analyzes and dr hab. Piotr Roszak, prof. UMK – Coordinator of the “For the freedom to profess religion in the modern world. Counteracting the causes of discrimination and helping the persecuted on the example of Christians”Project The morning session began with lectures by Dr. Jonathan Price (University of Oxford), which outlined the historical, philosophical, and theological understanding of religious freedom. Participants in large numbers and eagerly took advantage of the opportunity to enter the discussion with the invited guest. The afternoon session included lectures by participants representing academic centers from Białystok, Kraków and Mainz. The afternoon session was concluded with a discussion on the papers and the topics they covered.
The second day of the Summer School, especially the morning session, was dominated by the issue of relationship between religious freedom and economic freedom. Dr hab. Krzysztof Koźmiński (University of Warsaw) outlined the constitutional and legal panorama of the issue, as well as economic and legal perspectives. The afternoon session was attended by participants from Warsaw, Wroclaw, Torun and Guadalajara (Mexico), and the speakers’ papers became the starting point for the discussion.
The third day of the Summer School commenced with lectures by Dr Georgia Duplessis (Leuven University) on religious freedom being basis of European and international legal acts and religious freedom in education, as well as the issues of religious freedom and freedom of speech. The lectures sparked a lively discussion. The afternoon session was attended by academics representing the universities of Barcelona, Guadalajara (Mexico) and Rzeszow. The session ended with a discussion, during which the speakers elaborated on some of the topics discussed in the papers.
The last, fourth day of the Summer School began with lectures by Professor Fernando Simón Yarza from the University of Navarre on the issues of: neutrality of the state, religious freedom, freedom of speech. Prof. Yarza also referred to the contemporary challenges of religious opposition as well as the issue of religious freedom in the context of the pandemic. After the lectures by prof. Yarza answered questions from the audience. The afternoon session was attended by representatives of academic centers in Bydgoszcz, Nowy Targ, Krakow and Warsaw. The last session of the Summer School was a lively discussion over the papers. Prof. dr hab. Piotr Roszak closed the meeting of the Summer School.
The Interdisciplinary Summer School on Religious Freedom was an opportunity for a broad exchange of ideas and views. During its duration, its participants – young adepts of legal sciences under the supervision of specialists in the fields of philosophy, human rights, economic law, constitutional law broadened their knowledge in the field of understanding religious freedom, opportunities and threats related to this subject, and contemporary challenges related to the issue of religious freedom.
Participants’ speeches, interviews and discussions will be available on the official website of the Project, which we cordially invite you to visit: https://iws.gov.pl/projekt-o-wolnosc-wyznawania-religii-we-wspolczesnym-swiecie/opis-projektu/