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


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

NEW YORK (March 6)— The Goethe-Institut New York, a branch of the Federal Republic of Germany’s global cultural institution, is pleased to announce the launch of a 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 first event, “A Tale of Two Cities,” is Thursday, March 20, at 7:30pm, and will feature European politician Daniel Cohn-Bendit and New York-based author David M. Reimers in conversation with regards to key contemporary processes and future developments surrounding the place of migrants and ethnic minorities in the modern metropolis. 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.

Daniel Cohn-Bendit (http://www.cohn-bendit.de/dcb2006/fe/pub/en) is the leader of the Green Party in the European Parliament. An erstwhile campus revolutionary, he came to personify the new left that swept Western Europe and the US in the late 1960s. In his co-authored book, Babylon as Homestead: Achieving Multicultural Democracy /Heimat Babylon: Das Wagnis der multikulturellen Demokratie (Hoffmann und Campe) Cohn-Bendit launched the idea of a multicultural democracy in Germany.

David M. Reimers (http://history.fas.nyu.edu/object/reamers) is professor emeritus of history at New York University. He is the author of several books on immigration including Still the Golden Door: The Third World Comes to America, and All the Nations Under Heaven: An Ethnic and Racial History of New York (co-authored with Frederick Binder), both published by Columbia University Press.

“Hot or cold conflicts between cultures, religions, lifestyles and value systems seem to be a signature of the twenty-first century,” notes Dr. Stephan Wackwitz, Program Director of the Goethe-Institut New York. “They are a feature of our times comparable to what class struggle was in the nineteenth century, to what the ‘European civil war’ between fascism and socialism was in the thirties or the Cold war between totalitarianism and democracy in later decades of the last century. Philosophy, political science, public consciousness concern themselves more and more with questions of the religious versus the secular, with problems of multiculturalism, pathologies of religious conflict or with what has been formally been termed ‘The Clash of Civilizations.’ Even so, these are highly provocative issues we grapple with every day as citizens of democratic societies, or not. ‘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 conversations with Paul Berman and Paul Scheffer on April 15 and Ian Buruma and Thomas E. Schmidt on May 15. 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 have debuted this spring, including “What is Green Architecture?” and “KinoTalks” (new films and filmmakers). 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 6, 2008

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