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The current Conference time is: 14th Aug 2022, 11:23:58pm CEST

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Parallel sessions - B.5.2 Religions in the Face of Planetary Issues: What Would Be the Contribution for Education to Citizenship
Friday, 04/June/2021:
1:15pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Silvia Guetta
Session Chair: Carla Roverselli
Location: Room 5

Session Panels:
B.5. Religions in the Face of Planetary Issues: What Would Be the Contribution for Education to Citizenship

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ID: 448 / FRI-PRL-M2-B.5.2: 1
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Panels: B.5. Religions in the Face of Planetary Issues: What Would Be the Contribution for Education to Citizenship
Keywords: religiosity, religious sense, education, universal citizenship


Giorgia Pinelli1, Michele Caputo2, Maria Teresa Moscato3

1University of Bologna, Italy; 2University of Bologna, Italy; 3University of Bologna, Italy

This essay highlights the potential role of the religious dimension in the positively utopian hypothesis of an education to universal citizenship as a fundamental pedagogical target.

Starting from some specific philosophical and theoretical studies (Fowler, 2000, 2017; Moscato, Gatti, Caputo, 2012), we carried out several exploratory surveys (Caputo, 2012; Caputo, Pinelli, 2014), and we also acquired some empirical data during some interreligious formative seminars (Draghetti, Pinelli, 2019). We also carried out a national research by survey in Italy, involving a significative sample of 2.675 religious people, which provided many data about the representations and experiences connected to the religious dimension (Moscato, Caputo, Gabbiadini, Pinelli, Porcarelli, 2017).

When we speak about the “religious dimension”, it is necessary to distinguish some elements in it. First of all, religiosity: an interactive and dynamic connection between an institutional, historical religion and the psychological and spiritual dynamisms linked to it. Religiosity has a subjective, concrete dimension, composed by psychological, anthropological and philosophical elements.

Secondly, the religious sense, which we hypothesize to be the transculturally characterized generative element of the religious experience.

Both of the above mentioned elements have to be differentiated from religion, which is an institutional symbolic system characterized by a proper theological and philosophical apparatus, a specific rituality and an organized structure. The interreligious dialogue does not happen among religions, but first of all among people’s religious experiences (Draghetti, Pinelli, 2019).

The scientific and social disqualification of religion itself (Caputo, 2019) has delegitimized religiosity as well, reducing it to a mere emotive-affective dimension. On the contrary, as we will try to demonstrate, religiosity presents a positive potential also with respect to civil cohabitation, on condition that it is understood and promoted through conscious educative processes. The evolution of the religious conscience toward tolerance can be born only from a religiosity able to understand the human limits in receiving any possible “revelation”, and consequently able to presume that the one God may have been known by different names or perceived tentatively. Under these conditions, we will be able to reduce conflict among human interpretations, even in religious matters.


  • Caputo M. (Ed.). (2019). Oltre i paradigmi del sospetto?. Milano: FrancoAngeli.
  • Caputo M. (2012). L’esperienza religiosa nella narrazione di sé. Scritture di studenti universitari. In: M.T. Moscato, R. Gatti, M. Caputo (pp. 45-69). Cit.
  • Caputo M., Pinelli G. (2014). La religiosità come risorsa transculturale: narrazioni di giovani migranti. In: F. Arici, R. Gabbiadini, M.T. Moscato. (Eds.). La risorsa religione e i suoi dinamismi. (pp. 191-222). Milano: FrancoAngeli.
  • Draghetti B., Pinelli G. (Eds.). 2019. Religiosità, educazione, cittadinanza. Bologna: Regione Emilia-Romagna.
  • Fowler J. (2017). Diventare adulti. Diventare cristiani. (R. Gabbiadini e M.T. Moscato, Trans). Milano: FrancoAngeli. (Original work published 2000).
  • Moscato M.T., Gatti R., Caputo M. (Eds.). (2012). Crescere fra vecchi e nuovi dei. Roma: Armando.
  • Moscato M.T., Caputo M., Gabbiadini R., Pinelli G., Porcarelli A. (2017). L’esperienza religiosa. Linguaggi, educazione vissuti. Milano: FrancoAngeli.

ID: 473 / FRI-PRL-M2-B.5.2: 2
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Panels: B.5. Religions in the Face of Planetary Issues: What Would Be the Contribution for Education to Citizenship
Keywords: family, religions, education, children, religious illiteracy


Carla Roverselli

Università degli studi di Roma Tor Vergata, Italia

In the light of recent research, the intervention aims to highlight the multiplicity and complexity of educational issues encountered when it comes to families (taking into account the multiple and new configurations in which they live) and religions in Italy.

As for religion, our country is dealing with a tired Catholicism, the growth of atheism and agnosticism among young people, the increase of faiths different from those of tradition, the recurring demand for new or alternative forms of spirituality.

As far as Italian families are concerned, they are described as "corks on the waves of a society that has lost the virtuous and patient meaning of education", made up of parents who are more lax than proactive, whose relationship with their children is more inclined to seek consensus than to the offer of growth stimuli.

Observing the way Italians live Christianity, we see different situations: the religiosity of the elderly (grandparents), a more essential and somewhat bare religious presence of people in adult and mature age (children), and the evident lesser identification in the religious sphere of young people between 18 and 34 years of age.

Alongside the Catholicism of the majority there are numerous forms of religious diversity which indicate an evident change in the socio-religious geography of our country. The presence of minority religions on the public scene calls into question the role that educational agencies can play in the formation of citizens and families.

In fact, it is more than ever necessary to train in cultural pluralism, being aware of the fact that religious illiteracy hinders the construction of a culture of responsible citizenship and produces democratic illiteracy.


Review and critical analysis of the most recent bibliography on the subject and of selected sociological surveys on the religiosity of Italians.


Identification of educational agencies and policies that can operate in the field of family education, referring in particular to existing educational agencies operating within each religion: proposals for training courses to be implemented.


Garelli Franco, Gente di poca fede. Il sentimento religioso nell’Italia incerta di Dio, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2020

Melloni Alberto (Ed.), Rapporto sull’analfabetismo religioso in Italia, Bologna: Il Mulino, 2014

Milani Paola, Educazione e famiglie. Ricerche e nuove pratiche per la genitorialità, Roma, Carocci editore, 2018

Zanfrini Laura (Ed.), Migrants and Religion: Paths, Issues, and Lenses. A Multi-disciplinary and Multi-sited Study on the Role of Religious Belongings in Migratory and Integration Processes, Leiden – Boston, 2020.

ID: 502 / FRI-PRL-M2-B.5.2: 3
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Panels: B.5. Religions in the Face of Planetary Issues: What Would Be the Contribution for Education to Citizenship
Keywords: religious and spiritual traditions, conflict, coexistence, culture of peace


Silvia Guetta

University fo Florence Italy, Italia

In regarding of my researches on peace education and conflict management, in my presentation I will explore the different definitions of the key terms: religion, conflict, and violence.

For educating to the citizenship and to coexistence between religious and spiritual traditions, is necessary to clarify each of these three key terms and understand their possible integration. First of all it is necessary to consider the different meaning of religion within the popular discourses and within academic researches. In the West, for example, most sociological theories predicted a gradual decline of religion, until recently.

How second point the presentation will consider what are conflicts and how they can linked with the religion. Are the conflicts caused by religion or are the policies that used the religion to affirm the own power and to generate conflicts? And what are the points of view of the new generation on these issues? In the last decades, there were some contributions that have affirmed how the religions can contribute at developement of the culture of peace.

Finally, I will consider that the aspect of the structural violence, in agreement with the Galtung's theory, how it is connected with the absence of the rights or the inequality of rights in the religious sphere and with the different relationship between the religious traditions and the laws of the State.

In conclusion, I will present some reflessions on the how education has to develop learnings that gives skills to integrate religious and spiritual traditions in the construction of dialogues open to the comparison and exploration of the complexity of the human being.

Reference bibliography

Consorti, P. (2003). Hanno ragione tutti: Profili di gestione dei conflitti interculturali ed interreligiosi, Pisa. PLUS-Pisa University Press

Consorti P. (2020). Diritto e religione. Basi prospettiche. Bari Laterza

Galtung, J. (1996). Peace by peaceful means: Peace and conflict, development, and civilization. London: Sage.

Galtung, J., & Weber, C. (2007). Handbook of peace and conflict studies. London: Routledge.

Harris, I. M. (2004). Peace education theory. Journal of Peace Education, 1(1), 5–20.

Harris, I. M., & Morrison, M. (2003). Peace education (2nd ed.). Jefferson, NC: McFarland

Sacks J. (2017). Non nel nome di Dio. Confrontarsi con la violenza religiosa, Firenze, Giuntina

UNESCO – Interreligious Dialogue Programme

ID: 546 / FRI-PRL-M2-B.5.2: 4
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Panels: B.5. Religions in the Face of Planetary Issues: What Would Be the Contribution for Education to Citizenship
Keywords: religions and multiculturalism, education in religious sense, education in fraternity, Islamic/Christian dialogue


Marcello Tempesta

Università del Salento, Italia

During Pope Francis’ historic apostolic journey to United Arab Emirates from February 3 to 5 2019 (the first one by a pontiff in the Arabian Peninsula) the signing of a declaration that it is not exaggerated to describe as epoch-making took place: in fact, on February 4, the Pope and the Grand Imam of Cairo’s Al-Azhar University, Ahmad al Tayyeb, signed the Document on human fraternity for world peace and living togheter in Abu Dhabi (in the presence of 500 religious and cultural political personalities from many countries gathered in the “Global Conference on Human Fraternity”, in front of journalists from halfway around the world and millions of people who followed everything on television). It declares that in relations between Muslims and Christians, violence is refused, hatred is rejected, terrorism is condemned and the path of respect and dialogue is chosen, with the aim of working together for peace.

A text of great importance, that the writers explicitly wanted to address to schools, universities and further education and training colleges, so that it would become an object of reflection. The Document represents a precious opportunity to look deeper into the role of religions in a multicultural society; into the complex relationship between Christianity and Islam, which, as well as experiencing moments of contrast and pitting one against the other, also offers moments of integration and dialogue, like the meeting between Francis of Assisi and al-Kamil al-Mãlik, sultan of Egypt, which took place at Damietta in 1219 (800 years after which another Francis symbolically re-traced his steps); into the outlook for an education in religious sense and fraternity.

Our paper represents a punctual resumption and problematisation of the main contents of the Document, in order to indicate how it can be valorised in paths of intercultural education and disciplinary teaching. Thanks to the use of a sociological, historical, theological-religious, pedagogical and didactic bibliography, it aims to make the view of young generations towards the Islamic-Christian dialogue more complex and richer and to suggest educational proposals to support it.


Documento sulla fratellanza umana per la pace mondiale e la convivenza comune,

D. Marafioti, Documento sulla Fratellanza umana. Una lettura ragionata, «Rassegna di Teologia», 60 (2019), pp. 235-268.

N. Paparella, Progettare la pace. Cristianesimo e Islam dopo Abu Dhabi, Progedit, Bari 2019.

M. Tempesta, L’esperienza religiosa: problema o risorsa per l’educazione alla convivenza nella società multiculturale?, in P. Dal Toso, D. Loro (a cura di), Educazione ed esperienza religiosa. Una relazione necessaria e impossibile, Franco Angeli, Milano 2017, pp. 155-165.

M.P. Alberzoni, A. Avveduto, Francesco e il sultano. L’incontro sull’altra riva, Firenze, Società Editrice Fiorentina 2019.

ID: 582 / FRI-PRL-M2-B.5.2: 5
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Panels: B.5. Religions in the Face of Planetary Issues: What Would Be the Contribution for Education to Citizenship
Keywords: diversity, identity, pluralism, dialogue


Dario Vannozzi, Marco Dal Corso

Istituto di Studi Ecumenici S. Bernardino - Venezia, Italia

The inedited post-modern pluralism requires to promote education in religious diversity even at school as a contribution to overcoming the identity paradigm and as an antidote to fundamentalism, enhancing interreligious dialogue.

Educating to religious diversity helps not only to reply to "holy ignorance" (with regard to the faiths of others), but it also helps not to make one's traditions and confessions "fortified citadels". Here we find the educational reasons for the interreligious dialogue: it can contribute to the crisis of relationships (including religious ones) and encourage coexistence. The dialogue between different religious worlds, that is promoted by education in religious diversity, is the bearer of the meanings and their multiple horizons that affect and query the contemporary society, all the more after the experience of the pandemic disease.

At the heart of this new method proposal there is not a research and a reduction of differences to unity, but the enhancement of diversity. In order to avoid homogeneity, the education in religious diversity that we are hardly building also intends to prevent the fragmentation that avert a real encounter. It will therefore take care of the difference, which will never turn into inequality. In addition, education to diversity does not intend to interpret ‘The other’ starting from me, but it wants to take into account the context of life and experience in which ‘the other’ lives in order to better understand his or her thinking and worldview; it’s based and embodies the hermeneutic principle that invites us to understand the other "as he sees himself".

Education for diversity through interreligious dialogue does not lead to building one's own identity in a retrospective sense, as if to find one's own identity back in the past, but it pushes to discover, in the encounter with the other, the plural dimension of one own identity which is always under construction. Because identity is relational, open to encounter, never fixed and given forever.

ID: 634 / FRI-PRL-M2-B.5.2: 6
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Panels: B.5. Religions in the Face of Planetary Issues: What Would Be the Contribution for Education to Citizenship
Keywords: Dialogue, Tolerance, Islamic Tradition, Neutralising translation, Sufism


Sara Mazzei

Doctoral School Politic, Culture and Development, University of Calabria, Italia

This paper stems from the consideration that Muslim migrants seem to be in the public debate the problem of European integration. Although there is actually a lot of racism related to ethnicity, the religious question raises many debates. Starting from a brief analysis of this perception, we will focalise on the religious aspect of coexistence inside Muslim communities and between Muslim and the whole society. We refer to a Conference held in Marrakesh in 2016 in which important personalities from across the Muslim world looking for peacefully solutions to the tensions that run through Muslim societies. In order to achieve their aim of promoting peace, they intend to refer to both ancient Islamic and current Western sources, including an interesting reference to Habermas. Accepting this invitation to use his conceptual tools, we explore his theories on religion and his neutralising translation method. Then we try to apply the proposed method to some concepts from the Muslim tradition, showing some of them that can be categorised as extremist and others as tolerant. In particular, I will refer to the Sufi tradition and to the mystic Ibn ‘Arabi in opposition to Ibn Taymiyya and Wahhabism.

ID: 873 / FRI-PRL-M2-B.5.2: 7
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Panels: B.5. Religions in the Face of Planetary Issues: What Would Be the Contribution for Education to Citizenship


Isabella Gagliardi

Università di Firenze, Italy

The idea that religions are a cause of conflict is widespread in contemporary society. This perception, which has gradually matured in the post-Enlightenment intellectual context, has been supported by studies, some of them very famous, which have shown how monotheisms, almost by their very nature, tend to create exclusionary and therefore potentially conflictual dynamics. The pure/imperfect and true/false binomial, which lies at the foundations of monotheist thought, has therefore been interpreted as a generator of separation and as a trigger for potential violent phases since the age of positivist intellectuals (Hume and Compte, for example). Even in very recent times, numerous scholars and, among others, the Egyptologist Jan Assmann (Non avrai altro Dio. Il monoteismo e il linguaggio della violenza, ed. it.- Bologna, Il Mulino, 2007) consider as almost necessary the approach to violence by those who profess monotheistic religions, continuing to recognize in monotheism a powerful generator of violence and in polytheism a creator of tolerant and inclusive practices. But, perhaps, the question needs to be reset starting from the centrality of political theology, as happens for example in Mark Lilla's studies (Il Dio nato Morto. Religione, politica e occidente moderno, Milano, Dalai, 2009): the problem therefore consists in the sacralisation of a given social order, that is, in the adoption of the sacred for the legitimisation of forms of power. And, following Giorgio Agamben (Il Regno e la Gloria. Per una genealogia teologica dell'economia e del governo,Torino Bollati Boringhieri, 2009), it is necessary to reflect on economic theology, which must be reconstructed and read by intersecting it with political theology. Ultimately, therefore, it is a question of shifting the focus of reflection from the dichotomy between monotheism and polytheism to the construction of systems of legitimation, organisation and control of political institutions and economic forms, comparing, where possible, the political and economic theologies produced by monotheisms and polytheisms.

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