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Tolerance for Religion, Tolerance of Religion

Disputation between Volker Beck and Dr Michael Schmidt-Salomon on Thursday 9 May.

Is the circumcision of Jewish and Muslim boys criminal assault? Do crucifixes belong in Bavarian civil service buildings? Should teachers be allowed to wear a veil in the classroom? Policy on religion and freedom of religion are highly polarising topics, which are regularly debated in society and in politics. Professor Bernd Simon, head of the Tolerance Research Unit Kiel (KFT) at Kiel University (CAU), researches tolerance and religion. On Thursday 9 May, he chaired a public disputation on this subject at the CAU between Volker Beck, a former member of the German Bundestag and a lecturer at the Center for Religious Studies (CERES) at the Ruhr Universität Bochum (RUB), and the philosopher and author Dr Michael Schmidt-Salomon, who is critical of religion. Thereafter, the audience can join in the discussion. All interested parties are cordially invited to attend.

"Meetings between people who belong to different religious communities, as well as between religious and non-religious people, put our mutual tolerance to the test, but also always offer the chance to further practice and entrench this democratic virtue," said Bernd Simon. "With Volker Beck and Michael Schmidt-Salomon, two prominent debaters who promote tolerance have accepted our invitation to represent their different positions on dealing with religion. Thus, we will not only experience a public debate about tolerance, but also a practical demonstration of argumentative tolerance."

About Volker Beck:

Volker Beck is a lecturer at the Center for Religious Studies (CERES) at the Ruhr Universität Bochum (RUB). He was a member of the German Bundestag (federal parliament) from 1994 to 2017. In 2015 he was awarded the Leo Baeck Prize of the Central Council of Jews in Germany "for his outstanding commitment to the Jewish community in Germany and against anti-Semitism." From 1991 to 2004, he was spokesperson for the Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany (LSVD).

About Dr Michael Schmidt-Salomon:

Dr Michael Schmidt-Salomon is a philosopher and author, co-founder and chairman of the Giordano Bruno Foundation, and executive board member of the Institut für Weltanschauungsrecht (ifw). His best-known publications include the books "Beyond good and evil" (Jenseits von Gut und Böse), "Leibniz was no butter biscuit" (Leibniz war kein Butterkeks), "No power for the stupid" (Keine Macht den Doofen), "Hope in humans" (Hoffnung Mensch), "Manifesto of evolutionary humanism" (Manifest des evolutionären Humanismus) and "The limits of tolerance" (Die Grenzen der Toleranz). His latest book was published in March: "Relax! A philosophy of serenity" ("Entspannt euch! Eine Philosophie der Gelassenheit).

About the KFT:

The Tolerance Research Unit Kiel (KFT) is part of the Chair of Social Psychology and Political Psychology at Kiel University (CAU). It is dedicated to the task of empirically exploring the practical implementation and social efficacy of tolerance, on the basis of a scientifically founded concept of tolerance.



Monika Zygmuntowski
Secretariat Tolerance Research Unit Kiel (KFT)
Kiel University
+49 (0)431/880-3972



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