FEDE Study day

Education, The religious phenomenon and business

Date: 07 November 2017

Location: The Town Hall of the 9th arrondissement – Paris (France)

General information: A study day composed of four round tables

Special particularity of the day: It has been conceived in partnership with the monthly magazine “Croyances et Villes” (beliefs and Towns) and is sponsored by Professor Maffesoli and the Mayor of the 9th arrondissement.


Everything today seems to bring us back to religion: whether it is a matter of tackling international relations (isis/daesh) or the great subjects of society (GPA= “Gestation pour autrui” meaning surrogate motherhood for example), but here is the paradox: Despite this omnipresence, we find it difficult to think of the religious world, of a religious world view. If you want proof, ask your neighbours to define the terms, religious, religions and spiritual, and you will be surprised at the answers they give…

Hence our study day devoted to the religious worldview; but naturally to do this we have had to narrow our field of research, and taking into account the DNA of the FEDE have we decided to create a day entitled “Education, the Religious phenomenon and business”.


This study day should strongly interest FEDE students within the context of their education regarding citizenship.

So reserve your places (300 maximum available)

Contact Jean-Louis Bischoff : jeanlouis.bischoff@fede.education

Simply enter the name of the school, the number of the expected students and the project leader(s)

Round Table 1: Secularism, the religious phenomenon and Business

While current events remind us that religion is making its “big comeback” in the business world (See the government report of November 2016 devoted to the fact of religion in business) a more thorough reading would tend to prove that the “sacred” is, in reality, an integral structural part of the economic and social sphere.

Although secular in appearance, businesses are, in fact, responsible for expressions of the “sacred” that they have to more or less accept. No business leader can neglect this dimension without the risk of weakening his/her organisation. The strong intention of this particular round table is to underline this.


Invited guests:

Antoine Sfeir, editor-in-chief of the “Cahiers de l’Orient” (Notebooks of the East)

Jean-Michel Quillardet, lawyer, founder of the International Observatory of Secularism

Olivier Kornascheswi; Founder of the journal “Beliefs and Towns”

Marc Horwitz, Director of the publication of the Dictionary of Laity.

Olivier Bischoff, General Manager in charge of sport and territories (Dentsu aegis network)

Round Table 2: Religious Education in European Higher Education

The place accorded to religions in European state schools reflects the history of countries where the church has been dominant.

It also testifies to the great diversity of relations that exist between the state and religions that exist on the continent. If in France the Church and the State have been separated since 1905, it is far from being the case with all its neighbours. In some countries, national identity and religion are highly intertwined: Italy, Malta and Ireland with Catholicism, Denmark with Lutheranism, Greece with the Orthodox church…

Another factor generating different situations on a European scale is the greater, or lesser, centralisation of education. In France, educational programmes and lessons are determined at the national level. In Germany, these issues are regionalised, whilst in Great Britain, local authorities and school Heads have a wide margin for manoeuvre.

The present round table aims to propose an assessment of, and perspectives relative to the teaching of the religious phenomenon in European secondary and University education.


Invited guests:

Michel Maffesoli, Honorary Professor at the Sorbonne

Jean-François Petit, Professor at the Catholic Institute of Paris

Jean-Louis Bischoff, Philosopher and research director of the FEDE

Jean-Pierre Mignard, Lawyer and  lecturer at Science Po and co-editor of “Témoignage Chrétien” (Christian Testimony)

Round Table 3: Higher Education and the Training of Religious Managers (Rabbis, Priests, Imans) in Europe

What about training in Islam and other religions in higher education?

This is the question that underpins this round table?

European Muslims feel it is urgent to set up Islamic higher education institutions to form associative leaders, teachers and religious representatives. To identify the most interesting initiatives is the objective of this round table, which will be not be solely limited to the initiatives taken by Muslims.


Invited Guests :

Ghaleb BENCHEIKH, Islamologist, and presenter of the “Islam” programme on France 2

Salima Laabi Zuber, Sociologist, and head of the trades observatory

Neil Abbott, Pastor, responsible for the pastoral  and academic oversight of a cohort of students in an international school in England

Luc Forestier, Oratorian brother and Professor at the Institute of Religions in Paris

Round table 4: Should, or could, the teaching of ethics be an "alternative" to religious teaching in European universities?

A compulsory “ethics” course is given to pupils who do not attend a religious course in Baden-Württemberg (under the School Act). This teaching, which is of an optional nature, deals with the “non-religious morality” in the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, “social or civic values” in primary education and “ethical values” in Secondary education in Spain and , ‘Training in the understanding of the meaning  of what is life’ in the Netherlands.

On the other hand, this teaching is not undertaken in Italy, where “alternative” activities are determined by each institution within the framework of its didactic autonomy, nor in Sweden, where ethical questions are, however, dealt with in the teaching of “the knowledge of religions “.

A question arises invariably; Is it desirable to replace the teaching of religion with a teaching of ethics?


Invited guests:

Olivier Abel, Philosopher and professor of ethical philosophy at the Faculty of Protestant Theology of Montpellier

Bernard Besret,  Thinker, theologian and writer

Jean François Petit, professor at the Catholic Institute of Paris, and assumptionist brothers. (A congregation of Catholic brothers in France)