Saint Louis University

 

 

The Center for Intercultural Studies hosts an interdisciplinary conference

"Charity in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Traditions"

Conference sponsored by the Center for Intercultural Studies

Saint Louis University

March 26 - March 27, 2015

The conference reflected on cultural commonalities and differences in the ideas and practices of charity in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in the modern era. To what extent is there a common paradigm in the ways Jews, Christians, and Muslims have addressed the needs of the poor? How do the three religions differ in their understanding of poverty and wealth, and in their justifications for giving charity? How do their charitable institutions affect social cohesion and cross-cultural interactions?

Photographic Journal

March 26 - March 27, 2015

 

 


 


 

The Center for Intercultural Studies hosts an interdisciplinary conference

"Translating Culture, Negotiating Difference:

Religion, Law,  and Business"

Conference sponsored by the Center for Intercultural Studies

Saint Louis University

March 28 - March 29, 2014

The concept of cultural translation, popularized by anthropologists Bronislaw Malinowski and Edward Evans-Pritchard, intimates that negotiating cultural difference is analogous to learning a foreign language. The metaphor retains its usefulness today in that it points to the possibility, but also the problems, of communication in an increasingly interconnected world: assumptions, miscommunication, and the incommensurability of epistemological categories. The conference seeks to put a magnifying glass to them by focusing on three areas of international activity that involve cultural translation: religion, law, and business. Our hope is that a comparative perspective on their distinctive ways of resolving these issues would offer new insights.

 


 

The intercultural occurs in the space between two or more distinct cultures that encounter each other, an area where they negotiate reciprocal relationship. A better understanding of interactions between different human groups is a major challenge of our time. A half-century of critique of the concept of culture has made significant contributions, including foregrounding ethnocentrism as a source of research bias across disciplines; incorporating power into cultural studies; and expanding scholarship on cultures beyond ethno-linguistically defined groups. Likewise, study of processes that transcend group divisions--globalization, empire, neo-colonialism--has flourished. Meanwhile, understanding mechanisms of interactions between cultures has not kept pace. Intercultural studies are due for reflection and refinement. The conference brings together scholars of diverse disciplines to reflect on the current state of knowledge about these mechanisms, with the goal of assembling a theoretical and methodological toolbox for researching and understanding the intercultural.

Photographic Journal

Saint Louis University

February 28 - March 1, 2013

 

 


 

PHOTOGRAPHIC JOURNAL

Saint Louis University
March 1-2, 2012

Much comparative law scholarship focuses on technical questions of constitutional structure, asking, for example, whether strong presidential or parliamentary systems better serve normatively attractive constitutional goals (separation of powers, federalism, rights enforcement, and so on). Missing from such literature, however, is sufficient discussion of the interpretive risks involved in abstracting constitutional texts from their larger cultural/temporal contexts. Frameworks of practices, customs, and beliefs--including religious traditions, values, institutions, and symbolic representations--form what Charles Taylor terms the "social imaginaries," systems of shared, subjective, largely taken-for-granted meanings that people use to make sense of their social world. These imaginaries determine constitutional possibility and, alternately, serve as invisible sources of constitutional law. Taking the "invisible constitution" as a starting point, this conference brought together scholars of diverse disciplines to show how non-legal methodologies can be central to constitutional comprehension, both foreign and domestic.



Representative Paul Curtman, Missouri State House of Representatives
Sponsor of HB708 - The Anti-Sharia Bill



Abdullahi Ahmed An-Naim, Emory University



Monica Eppinger, Saint Louis University School of Law



Anders Walker, Saint Louis University School of Law



Semahagn Gashu, University of Göttingen, Germany



Michal Jan Rozbicki, Saint Louis University Department of History


 




Conference Program

Thursday, March 1
5:00-7:00
 
Opening Reception
Queen's Daughters Hall, Saint Louis University School of Law
Friday, March 2
8:30-9:00 Registration & Breakfast

All Friday sessions will take place in the
Courtroom of the School of Law, 3700 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63108

9:00-9:30
 
 
Welcoming Remarks
Dean Annette Clark, Saint Louis University School of Law
Dr. Michal Jan Rozbicki, Saint Louis University Center for Intercultural Studies
9:30-10:00

 
 
Opening Comment:
Representative Paul Curtman, Missouri State House of Representatives
& Sponsor of HB708 - The Anti-Sharia Bill
Why decisions based on foreign law violate Missouri public policy
10:00-11:45
 
 
 
 
 
 
Plenary Address:
Abdullahi Ahmed An-Naim, Emory University
Banning Sharia is a "Red Herring": The Way Forward for All Americans
Comment I: Joel Nichols, University of St. Thomas School of Law
Marriage & Divorce in a Multicultural Context
Comment II: SpearIt, Saint Louis University School of Law
Sound Public Policy or Sounds of Panic?
12:00-1:00 Lunch Break
1:00-2:30
 
 
 
 
 
 
Afternoon Panel I: Constitutions & Culture
Semahagn Gashu, University of Göttingen, Germany
The Debate on Compatibility of Liberal Values to African Culture
Monica Eppinger, Saint Louis University School of Law
Bringing Comparison Home
Michal Jan Rozbicki, Saint Louis University Department of History
Comment/Response
2:30-2:40 Break
2:40-4:10
 
 
 
 
 
 
Afternoon Panel II: Constitutions & Memory
Jelte Olthof, Rijksuniversiteit, Groningen, The Netherlands
Identity and Memory in American Constitutional History
Kathryn Fort, Michigan State University School of Law
Historical Fictions: Tribes, Narrative, and the Supreme Court
Anders Walker, Saint Louis University School of Law
Comment/Response
4:10-4:30
 
 
Closing Remarks
Stacy Osmond, Editor Saint Louis University Law Journal
Anders Walker, Saint Louis University School of Law


Engraving "Religious and civil liberty established in Maryland" by James Barry (1793).
Courtesy Library of Congress.