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Department of Religious Studies

Fourth International Conference on Christian-Muslim Relations
"Religion and State: From Theocracy to Secularism, and in between"

2 - 4 October 2013 - Bethlehem University

Fourth International Religious Conference (October 2013)

The Department of Religious Studies in Bethlehem University organizes its fourth International Conference to discuss the role of religion in public space and in politics. We witness many changes in the Middle East and in the West. The conference is an attempt to understand the new developments and their impact on Christian Muslim relations.As Bethlehem University is celebrating its 40th anniversary, the conference wants to contribute to its mission in “fostering shared values, moral principles and dedication to serving the common good”. The participation of faculty and students of BU and other members of the community will advance the mission of BU in advancing knowledge that will empower young people to be promoters of change in society.


  • To review recent historical developments on the role of religion in public life.
  • To understand the deep changes in the Middle East and the emergence of political Islam.
  • To trace the Western “new” understanding of religion in public life and politics.
  • To identify the different approaches to religion in public life: Theocracy, democracy, secularism, civil state… what are the alternatives in the Middle East?
  • To examine the impact of the latest developments on Christian Muslim relations
  • To identify the role of universities (education- knowledge) in shaping and promoting new models of religion-state relations.


  • Different models of the use of Religion in Public Life
  • New changes in the Middle East
  • Secularism and Religion in the West
  • Political Islam
  • Impact on Christian – Muslim  relations
  • Place of Christians in Muslim Countries and Muslims in Western countries
  • Religion – State in Palestine
  • Role of Universities in shaping and promoting new models of Religion-State relations

Important information:

  • Where: Bethlehem University – Bethlehem (Palestine)
  • When: Wednesday, Oct. 2 – Friday, Oct. 4, 2013
  • Who: Universities, theologians, and scholars from the Middle East, Europe, North America, and Asia.

For more information: 

Please contact Fr. Iyad Twal, Chair of the Department of Religious Studies, itwal@Bethlehem.eduor (+970) 598904262

Click here for an article about the third International Conference, in February 2011.

Deadline for contributions was 30 April 2013

Bethlehem University Foundation
Phone: +1-240-241-4381
Fax: +1-240-553-7691
Beltsville, MD USA
Bethlehem University in the Holy Land
Phone: +972-2-274-1241
Fax: +972-2-274-4440
Bethlehem, Palestine