1014 Fifth Avenue (at 83rd Street)
New York, New York 10028


Experts to discuss hot-button religious, political and social topics

NEW YORK (April 3)— The Goethe-Institut New York, a branch of the Federal Republic of Germany’s global cultural institution, is pleased to announce the next event in its new series, “With God on Our Side,” designed to take aim at the heart of societal discourse on multiculturalism and national identity with several provocative pairings of intellectuals, policymakers and authors this year. The second event, “The Islamic Challenge,” is Tuesday, April 15th, at 7:30pm, and will feature Dutch sociologist Paul Scheffer and New York-based author Paul Berman in conversation. Admission is free, and no reservations are required. The Goethe-Institut New York is located at 1014 Fifth Avenue (at 83rd Street) in New York; (212) 439-8700 or www.goethe.de/newyork.

Huntington’s theory of a global confrontation between Islam and the “West” is particularly attractive now for its depiction of an international struggle along the fault lines of faith, culture and civilizations. “The Islamic Challenge” will examine the validity of Huntington’s dark vision of struggle within and between organized societies and explore key challenges of Muslim integration in the U.S. and Europe, as the speakers discuss the liberal response to Islamic extremism, together and with the audience!

Paul Berman is a writer on politics and literature whose articles and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, the New Republic (where he is a contributing editor), the New Yorker, Slate, the Village Voice, Dissent, and various other American, European and Latin American journals. He has reported at length from Europe and Latin America. He has written or edited eight books, including, most recently, Power and the Idealists: Or, the Passion of Joschka Fischer and Its Aftermath, with a new preface by Richard Holbrooke for the 2007 paperback edition; Carl Sandburg: Selected Poems, edited with an introduction, published in 2006 by the American Poets Project of the Library of America; and Terror and Liberalism, a New York Times best-seller in 2003. His writings have been translated into fifteen languages. Berman received a B.A. and M.A. in American History from Columbia University and has been awarded a MacArthur, a Guggenheim, the Bosch Berlin Prize, a fellowship at the New York Public Library’s Center for Writers & Scholars, and other honors.

Paul Scheffer, is professor of urban sociology at the University of Amsterdam and publicist with the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad. He has been a correspondent in Paris, France and Warsaw, Poland; Head of the Division of European Politics at the research institute of the Labor Party; a member of the Advisory Council of Foreign Affairs, member of the Atlantic Commission, and member of the board of Forum (the Institute for Multicultural Questions). His articles have been published in many European countries. His publications include: "A Satisfied Nation" (1988), "The Quest for Eternal Peace (2000), and "The Land of Arrival" (2006).

"Hot or cold conflicts between cultures, religions, lifestyles and value systems are a signature of the twenty-first century," notes Dr. Stephan Wackwitz, Program Director of the Goethe-Institut New York. 'With God on Our Side' aims at bringing together thinkers, politicians, activists from Europe and America to discuss these common concerns and to link our traditions of political thought as well as look towards the future."

Future events in the “With God on Our Side: The Crisis of the Secular” series, which will continue to bring together scholars and politicians from both sides of the Atlantic to discuss questions of religion and multiculturalism throughout 2008, include Ian Buruma and Thomas E. Schmidt on May 15. Previous speakers include Daniel Cohn-Bendit and David M. Reimers. All talks take place at the Goethe-Institut New York.

The Goethe-Institut New York is a branch of the Federal Republic of Germany’s global cultural institute, established to promote the study of German and German culture abroad, encourage international cultural exchange, and provide information on Germany’s culture, society, and politics. At its uptown Fifth Avenue location, several buzzworthy series debuted this spring, including “What is Green Architecture?”, “KinoTalks” (new films and filmmakers) and “Show/Tell,” which, on April 24th at 7pm, presents a screening and discussion of video art inspired by Walter Benjamin’s Passages, the intricate and haunting life’s work contemplating the arcades of Paris that continues to captivate artists and thinkers today. Downtown, Ludlow 38, a new art space created in collaboration with Kunstverein München, opened on February 8. For details on upcoming events and to join the mailing list, visit: goethe.de/newyork.
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Official Website: http://www.goethe.de/newyork

Added by LACerand on March 25, 2008

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