Religious Literacy, Law and History: Perspectives on European Pluralist Societies (Hardback) book cover

Religious Literacy, Law and History

Perspectives on European Pluralist Societies

Edited by Alberto Melloni, Francesca Cadeddu

© 2018 – Routledge

256 pages

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Hardback: 9781138303645
pub: 2018-04-15

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This book examines religious illiteracy in Europe. It seeks to understand religious illiteracy and its effects on the social and political milieu through the framing of the historical, institutional, religious, social, juridical and educational conditions within which it arises. Divided into four parts, the first looks at `Context’ defining the basic concepts underpinning the question of religious illiteracy in Europe. Part 2, `Fields’, highlights the theological, philosophical, historical and political roots of the phenomenon, looking at the main nodes that are both the reasons why religious illiteracy is widespread and the starting points for literacy strategies. Part 3, `Education’, examines the mix of knowledge and competences acquired about religion and from religion at school as well as through the media, with a critical perspective on what could be done both in the schools and for the improvement of journalists’ religious literacy. Part 4, `Views and experiences’ presents the reader with the opportunity to learn from three different casestudies: religious literacy in the media; religious illiteracy and European Islam; and a Jewish approach to religious literacy. Building on existing literature, the volume takes a scientific approach which is enriched by interdisciplinary and transnational perspectives and deep entrenchment in historical methodology.

Table of Contents

Foreword; 1. Introduction;Part 1. Context; 2. Historical Roots of a Removed Agenda, Alberto Melloni (Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia); 3.Religious illiteracy in Modern Europe, Grace Davie (University of Exeter), Adam Dinham (Goldsmiths, University of London); 4.Different illiteracies for different countries?, Maria Chiara Giorda, (Università di Torino); Part 2. Fields; 5. Ethics, Sacred Scriptures and Literacy, Donatella Di Cesare (Università La Sapienza, Roma); 6. Theological roots of Religious Illiteracy, Martin Lintner (Leipzig University); 7. Philosophical implications of Religious Illiteracy, Adam Seligman (Boston University); 8. Religious Illiteracy and French laïcité, Vincente Fortier (Université de Strasbourg); 9. Secularism, religious liberty and religious literacy, Francesca Cadeddu (Fscire, Bologna); 10. Is "religious violence" really religious?, John Wolffe (Open University); Part 3. Education; 11. Why study religions in publicly funded schools?, Robert Jackson (University of Warwick); 12. Teaching faith, Mary Earl (Cambridge University); 14. The role of the media in the development of religious illiteracy, Michael Wakelin (Cambridge University); Part 4. Views and Experiences; 15. The attitude of the media to religion, Jenny Taylor (LapidoMedia); 16. A Jewish Educational Approach to Religious Pluralism, Robin Sclafani (Ceji, Bruxelles); 17. Positions and actions in the European Islam, Erdal Toprakyaran (University of Tübingen); Postface

About the Editors

Francesca Cadeddu is a post-doctoral researcher at Fondazione per le Scienze Religiose "Giovanni XXIII" (Bologna), where she works on the history of twentieth-century American Catholicism and on religious pluralism and literacy in Italy and Europe. She is a member of the Commission on religious pluralism, freedom and the study of religious sciences at school, established in 2015 by the Italian Ministry of Education.

Alberto Melloni is an historian of Christianity known especially for his work on the Second Vatican Council of the Roman Catholic Church. He is Professor of History of Christianity at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, holder of the Unesco Chair for Religious Pluralism and Peace at the University of Bologna, Italy. He has been a member of Fondazione per le Scienze Religiose "Giovanni XXIII" since 1982, Vice-Secretary from 2002 to 2006 and General Secretary since 2007. Founded in 1953, the Foundation is one of the most important research centers on the history of Christianity in Europe.

About the Series

ICLARS Series on Law and Religion

ICLARS Series on Law and Religion

The ICLARS Series on Law and Religion is designed to provide a forum for the rapidly expanding field of research in law and religion. The series is published in association with the International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies, an international network of scholars and experts of law and religion founded in 2007 with the aim of providing a place where information, data and opinions can easily be exchanged among members and made available to the broader scientific community ( The series aims to become a primary source for students and scholars while presenting authors with a valuable means to reach a wide and growing readership.

The series editors are currently welcoming proposals for this new series on any matter falling under ‘law and religion’ widely defined. Collections arising from important conferences and events are welcome as well as monographs by both established names and new voices (including monographs based on doctoral dissertations). Also of interest are interdisciplinary works and studies of particular jurisdictions.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Multicultural Education
LAW / Civil Rights
LAW / Comparative
LAW / Constitutional
LAW / Educational Law & Legislation
RELIGION / Comparative Religion
RELIGION / Education
RELIGION / Religion, Politics & State
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Minority Studies
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology of Religion