Inauguration of the new academic year at the Institute for Advance Study.
Many of the successful campaigns for national liberation in the years following World War II were initially based on democratic and secular ideals. Once established, however, the newly independent nations had to deal with entirely unexpected religious fierceness.
Michael Walzer, one of America’s foremost political thinkers, examines this perplexing trend by studying India, Israel, and Algeria, three nations whose founding principles and institutions have been sharply attacked by three completely different groups of religious revivalists: Hindu militants, ultra-Orthodox Jews and messianic Zionists, and Islamic radicals. Why have these secular democratic movements been unable to reproduce their political culture beyond one or two generations?
Discussion after the lecture will be moderated by Sławomir Sierakowski.