Franco Garelli

Il pluralismo religioso in Italia

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The religious situation of the country is the focus of Garelli's essay, who quotes the data from the latest national surveys on the consistency of various religions. Should one take a look at the large numbers, Italy seems to subscribe to a general trend found in many central-northern European countries. This trend is represented by three phenomena: the rise of subjects "without a religion", the production of a "believe without belonging" and by a faith that is all the more conjugated by pluralism. Other religions except Catholicism involve only a minority (although a growing one) of the population, even if their vitality and cultural influence seems to be stronger than their numerical dimension. The religious pluralism has for some time now had an effect on the catholic world as well, which consists of more diverse ways of interpreting identity and religious belonging. Among the emergent forms, the author underlines two (the "ethnic-cultural" religious base and the "religion of values") that involve individuals and groups mainly from the fringes of the religious environment, but who react to social insecurity by either rooting themselves in traditional values or by identifying with the moral battles lead by the catholic church. The presence of multiple religions in society does not necessarily attenuate the retention of traditional values. Faith can lose its exclusive character and its anchoring in truth and be valued more in cultural than spiritual terms. Nevertheless, it continues to represent a bond offering a certain relief in times of fragmentation.

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