Secular Elites and Populist Religion

Washington -- The Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) will present "Secular Elites vs. Populist Religion", a half-day conference in Washington on Monday, 04/6/1998 from 1-6 p.m. The event will be held in the Herter Room at 1740 Massachusetts Avenue, NW. Dr. Peter Berger, director of the Institute for the Study of Economic Culture, Boston University, will chair the conference. A reception will follow.

Since the Enlightenment a recurring theme has been the rebellion of secularized "progressives" against supposedly oppressive religious establishments. Increasingly of late, the triumph of these progressives has generated sectarian resistance, especially in societies where secular elites seek to impose beliefs and values contrary to the religious convictions of the non-elite population. The conflict between secular elites and religious popular movements -- evident today in a variety of countries -- has far-reaching political implications.

Cases to be examined during the conference include the United States and Israel, and Turkey and Iran. Panelists will include James Hunter from the University of Virginia, Adam Seligman from Boston University, and Nur Yalman from Harvard University. There will also be a discussion of Iran, arguably an example of a counter case.

The conference is the final event in a project funded by the William and Mary Greve Foundation that explores The Impact of Religious Conviction on the Politics of the 21st Century. It is sponsored by the Foreign Policy Institute at SAIS and the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

For more information, contact Jana Kurtz at the Foreign Policy Institute (202)663-5772. The conference is open to the public.

For more information, contact Felisa Neuringer Klubes at the SAIS Public Affairs Office at 202.663.5626 or

Sunday, March 15, 1998
Press Release Type: 
Contact Person: 
Felisa Neuringer Klubes
Zip Code: 
(202) 663.5626