PaulinerForum


The PaulinerForum is a new discussion forum based at the University Church of St Paul. These annual debates about current issues in religion, culture and politics will be an opportunity to facilitate active engagement in civil society and to offer insights that will enable citizens to form their own positions within an increasingly confusing social and political landscape. The forum is supported by the University of Leipzig, and the Institute for Practical Theology in particular, with the Foundation ´University Church of St Paul, Leipzig´as its partner and main funding body. The PaulinerForum takes place with the organisational support of the Evangelische Verlagsanstalt. Being both the University´s assembly hall and church, the location of the old University Church, which was blown up by the Communist regime in 1968, is a symbol for the debates about society and politics, about the interpretation of the past and the shaping of present and future. Thus stands within the great tradition of Leipzig as the city of the Peaceful Revolution and its standing iup for freedom and democracy.

The first PaulinerForum ´State without God´will take place on 29 May 2019, 5pm in the University Church of St Paul at the Leipzig Augustusplatz. The main speaker will be Horst Dreier from the University of Würzburg, well known for his work in the areas of legal philosophy and the law of state and public administration. Dreier´s presentation will be followed by a panel discussion with the renowned philosopher of religion and theologian Ingolf U. Dalferth (2017 Visiting Leibniz Professor of the University of Leipzig) and Christoph Enders, Professor for Public Law and State and Constitutional Law, who is well-known for his work in the fields of human dignity and human rights. The panel will be chaired by the Editor of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Rinhard Bingener.

In his widely discussed 2018 book ´Staat ohne Gott?´, Horst Dreier argued for a liberal constitutional state, where the authority of law is separated from specific religious and ideological convictions. The secular state is based on two columns: on the one hand, freedom of religion for all citizens, and on the other hand, the neutrality of the state with regard to religion and worldview. This presupposes a clear separation of state and society. However, a state without God does not mean: human beings without God, or society without God. The neutrality of the state does not mean the neutrality of society. Human beings as members of society are able to live according to their own convictions and stand up for their convictions in the powerful and public way precisely because the state itself abstains from questions of religion and worldview. A society based on pluralism, human rights and democracy does not regard the disagreements and controversies that inevitably follow as negative but they are its very foundation. The debate on 29 May 2019 will be an opportunity for these and other views to be aired and discussed in lively and controversial but also wise and respectful manner. It will be well worth listening and joining in the discussion.

Entry to the PaulinerForum is free. Pre-registration can be addressed to Dr Annette Weidhas, Evangelische Verlagsanstalt GmbH, Blumenstraße 76, 04155 Leipzig, Tel. 0049 341 71141-14, e-mail: weidhas@eva-leipzig.de. In order to be able to continue to support the PaulinerForum as a partner, the Foundation needs donors and financial contributions. Please help us! Account information for donors can be found HERE.

 


 
 
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