Sergio Ferlito

On conversion. Converting who? Converting what?

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Religion; Law; Othodoxy/Orthopraxis; Conversion/Translation.

As many other words, «conversion» can have a variety of meanings which depend on the cultural basis the words rest on. Western legal systems protect conversion as an important part of religious freedom. Nevertheless, conversion is legally protected (like religious freedom itself) as far as both private and public state law is accepted by any sort of believers. So, Western states allow religious pluralism inside a legal monism: they don't concede any legal pluralism. The way they conceive the idea of conversion supposes a sharp separation between religion and law, a disconnection that reveals a strong influence of Christianity upon legal order. This view assumes that religion is an orthodoxy, an inner feeling not linked with action. On the contrary, cultures and religions that see religion as orthopraxis and legal order conceive conversion (as far as they grant it) as a choice of law and allow a rich variety of legal pluralism. When these different kinds of cultures come across - as in the case of a global society - conversion might request rather a translation of law, than a conversion of faith.

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