This book aims to understand the European political debate about contentious issues, framed in terms of religious values by religious and/or secular actors in 21st century. It specifically focuses on the Italian case, which, due to its peculiar history and contemporary political landscape, is a paradigmatic case for the study of the relationships between religion and politics.
In recent years, a number of controversies related to religious issues have characterised the European public debate at both the EU and the national level. The ‘affaire du foulard’ in France, the referendum on abortion in Portugal, the recognition of same-sex marriages in many Western European States, the debate over bioethics and the regulation of euthanasia are only a few examples of contentious issues involving religion. This book aims to shed light on the interrelation between these different debates, as well as their broader meaning, through the analysis of the paradigmatic case of Italy. Italy summarizes and sometimes exasperates wider European trends, both because of the peculiar role traditionally played by the Vatican in Italian politics and for the rise, since the 1990s, of new political entrepreneurs eager to exploit ethical and civilizational issues.
This work will be of great interest to scholars and students of a number of fields within the disciplines of political science, sociology and law, and will be useful for courses on religion and politics, political parties, social movements and civil society.
Introduction. 1. Religion, Secularism, and the Public Sphere 2. Religion and Politics in Italy 3. Methodology of Research 4. LGBT rights and same-sex unions 5. The beginning of life: Abortion and stem cells research 6. The end of life: Euthanasia 7. Religious instruction and religion in education 8. The mosque: An Exception to Religious Freedom? 9. The Muslim dress code 10. National Identity on the Cross 11. Framing the issues 12. Actors and coalitions. Conclusion: Culture Wars, Italy and Europe
This series aims to publish high quality works on the topic of the resurgence of political forms of religion in both national and international contexts. This trend has been especially noticeable in the post-cold war era (that is, since the late 1980s). It has affected all the ‘world religions’ (including, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism) in various parts of the world (such as, the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa).
The series welcomes books that use a variety of approaches to the subject, drawing on scholarship from political science, international relations, security studies, and contemporary history.
Books in the series explore these religions, regions and topics both within and beyond the conventional domain of ‘church-state’ relations to include the impact of religion on politics, conflict and development, including the late Samuel Huntington’s controversial – yet influential – thesis about ‘clashing civilisations’.
In sum, the overall purpose of the book series is to provide a comprehensive survey of what is currently happening in relation to the interaction of religion and politics, both domestically and internationally, in relation to a variety of issues.