The Public Space

The Burqa Affair Across Europe: Between Public and Private Space

Author(s): 
Edited by Alessandro Ferrari, University of Insubria, Italy and Sabrina Pastorelli, University of Milan, Italy
Publication: 
Ashgate Publishing Firm. Series : Cultural Diversity and Law in Association with RELIGARE
Abstract: 

In recent years, the wearing of the full-face veil or burqa/niqab has proved a controversial issue in many multi-cultural European societies. Focussing on the socio-legal and human rights angle, this volume provides a useful comparative perspective on how the issue has been dealt with across a range of European states as well as at European institutional level. In so doing, the work draws a theoretical framework for the place of religion between public and private space. With contributions from leading experts from law, sociology and politics, the book presents a comparative and interdisciplinary approach to one of the most contentious and symbolic issues of recent times.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND ORDERS, PLEASE VISIT:

http://www.ashgate.com/default.aspx?page=637&calcTitle=1&title_id=19548&edition_id=1209348944

The Place of Religion and Belief in Public Spaces across the EU: Policy Dilemmas and Recommendations on Religious Symbols and Dress Codes

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Author(s): 
Silvio Ferrari (Università degli Studi di Milano)
Publication: 
RELIGARE Policy Brief
Abstract: 

The presence of religions in the European legal systems is increasingly challenged by demographic developments. Two developments are particularly significant in this respect, as shown by the statistical data collected by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life and a special Eurobarometer poll of 2010:

 

a) A growing number of Europeans (more than 20% of the population of the EU Member States) do not view themselves as belonging to any religion and often question the support offered by the state to religious communities.

 

b) A similarly increasing share of the population professes religions that are not considered traditional in Europe (for example Islam, which according to the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life is followed by almost 3% of the population in EU Member States) and which are still generally excluded from various forms of support reserved by the states for ‘majority’ religions.

 

While those who do not profess any religion suggest reducing the presence of religious communities in the public space, by contrast those who profess non-traditional religions argue in favour of this presence provided that they can enjoy the same advantages as those hitherto reserved to mainstream religions. The first group is more likely to support a neutral public space, without any religious connotation, whereas the latter tends to be in favour of a plural public space that is inclusive of different religions. Traditional religions for their part have reasons to oppose both the neutrality and the plurality of the public space because, in the first case, the religion would be in danger of being confined to the private sphere and, in the second, they run the risk of losing their dominant position.

 

For all these reasons a complex and lively debate about the place of religions and beliefs in the public space is taking place across Europe. In this policy brief, after presenting the main policy models one can encounter in contemporary Europe when it comes to the governance of religious diversity, we move on to discuss religious symbols in the public space.

Bibliography on the Research Area looking at the PUBLIC SPACE

RESEARCH AREA on the PUBLIC SPACE (WP5)

 

ALLIEVI S., Conflicts over Mosques in Europe. Policy Issue and Trends, Alliance Publishing Trust, 2009

 

ALLOUCHE BENAYOUN, J., MASSIGNON, B., “Introduction générale”, in C. Béraud, J.-P. Willaime (dir.), Les jeunes, l’école et la religion, Paris, Bayard, 2009, pp. 195-199.

 

Religion in Public Spaces: A European Perspective

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Author(s): 
Silvio Ferrari and Sabrina Pastorelli (The University of Milan, Italy)
Publication: 
Ashgate Publishing Firm. Series : Cultural Diversity and Law in Association with RELIGARE
Abstract: 

This timely volume discusses the much debated and controversial subject of the presence of religion in the public sphere. The book is divided in three sections. In the first the public/private distinction is studied mainly from a theoretical point of view, through the contributions of lawyers, philosophers and sociologists. In the following sections their proposals are tested through the analysis of two case studies, religious dress codes and places of worship. These sections include discussions on some of the most controversial recent cases from around Europe with contributions from some of the leading experts in the area of law and religion.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND ORDERS, PLEASE VISIT:

www.ashgate.com/default.aspx

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE - Religious Perspectives on the Public Sphere: Neutrality, Pluralism and the Secular

12/12/2011 20:00
15/12/2011 17:00
Organizer(s)

Organizers: University of Milan (RELIGARE), Minerva Center for Human Rights, Tel Aviv University and the Center for Jewish Law and Contemporary Civilization, Cardozo Law School (New York, USA)

 

Abstract:

EVENING LECTURE: Religion in the Public Space, 20 October 2011, Sofia, Bulgaria

20/10/2011 19:30
20/10/2011 21:30
Organizer(s)

Venue: Institute for Ethnographic and Folklore Studies at Bulgarian Academy of Science, Sofia, Bulgaria

 

Speakers: Professor Irene BECCI (Universität Bielefeld) and
Professor Lori BEAMAN (University of Ottawa)

Respondent: Professor Linda WOODHEAD (RELIGARE Advisory Board/Lancaster University)

 

In case you would like to register for the event, please send an e-mail with your details to: mkosseva@yahoo.com.

WORKSHOP on 'Accommodating religion in the public space. Looking beyond Europe' - Sofia, Bulgaria, 20 October 2011

On the 20th October 2011, the research group working on 'The Public Space' (WP5) is organizing a Workshop titled 'Accommodating religion and belief in the public space. Looking beyond Europe' in Sofia, Bulgaria.

 

Through this workshop WP5 would like to look beyond the European borders and see what Europe can learn from the experience of other countries regarding the place to be given to religion(s) and belief(s) in the public space.

The Burqa Affair across Europe: Between Private and Public

04/04/2011 14:30
05/04/2011 13:30
Organizer(s)

Venue: University of Insubria, Faculty of Law (Palazzo Natta, Via Natta, 14 - Como Italy)

 

For information please contact:

Prof. Alessandro Ferrari, University of Insubria: alessandro.ferrari@uninsubria.it

Dr. Sabrina Pastorelli, University of Milan:

pastorelli.sabrina@gmail.com

Religion and the public-private divide - 7 & 8 October 2010, Como, Italy

07/10/2010
08/10/2010
Organizer(s)

Venue: Universita degli Studi dell'Insubria (Como, Italy)

Summary:

Organised by the University of Milan as part of the research area ‘Public Space’, this workshop gathered some RELIGARE members and other scholars associated to the research project. This meeting aimed at providing guidelines for dealing with the presence of religion(s) in the public sphere (first session) and focused in particular on several thematic issues. 

 

State of the Art Report: The Public Space. The Formal and Substantive Neutrality of the Public Sphere

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Author(s): 
Silvio Ferrari and Sabrina Pastorelli
Publication: 
RELIGARE State of the Art Report
Abstract: 

The public space issue cannot be appropriately addressed without keeping into account these three different perspectives. This is why WP5 has chosen, as case-studies, the dress codes (that are relevant both to the spatial and to the personal approach) and the religiously oriented private schools (that are relevant to the functional approach). But why to include a third case-study, the places of worship? Places of worship are the most visible manifestation of religion in the public space (in the sense of streets and squares). In theory, building a place of worship should be a no-problem issue: as this type of public space is accessible to all, all religious communities should be entitled to have their own places of worship, provided they respect some general rules concerning safety, health, etc. In practice, it is not so: almost everywhere in Europe building a Muslim mosque or a Jehovah Witnesses’ temple is much more difficult than building a Catholic (or Orthodox or Protestant) church and some countries (Switzerland, the Carinthian region of Austria ) have recently limited the right to build a place of worship according to the architectural canons that are traditional in some religions. The place of worship issue is a privileged observatory to study how much the accessibility of the public space –even in its part that should be open to all without limitations- is questioned in a society that is not accustomed to religious plurality.

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