Lecture by Kwame Anthony Appiah: „Ways of Belonging: Religion as Creed, as Practice … and as Identity“

In his lecture at the Cluster of Excellence "Religion and Politics", US philosopher and Hans Blumenberg Professor for 2024 Kwame Anthony Appiah argued for a pluralistic understanding of religious identities. Appiah, who teaches at New York University, believes that this is a way to resolve religious conflicts - without resorting to relativism.

In his lecture entitled “Ways of Belonging”, Appiah, who teaches at New York University, identified three different dimensions of religion: creed, practice and identity. In order to resolve or avoid religious conflicts, we should first establish which dimension is at the core of a conflict. Appiah illustrated this with many conflicts from the past and present: from disputes over interpretations of the Bible and Quran to religious practices such as the sign of the cross in Christianity and the tawhid gesture in Islam, and to various religious stances on, for example, homosexuality, animal welfare and violence. It is crucial that religious identities are not immutable beliefs, but rather “practices within communities that are open to change”. This makes change possible and conflicts avoidable. 

Researchers from top international research institutions who bring innovative ideas to Münster are appointed to the “Hans Blumenberg Professorship for Religion and Politics”, which is named after the Münster philosopher Hans Blumenberg (1920-1996). Read more

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