Shaping and Defining the Notion of “Religion”

Museo delle Religioni “Raffaele Pettazzoni”


Shaping and Defining the Notion of “Religion”

July 12-13-14-15-16 2016
Velletri (Rome)
Call for Papers

Our conference aims to provide an occasion of reflection and interdisciplinary discussion about the concept of religion and the notions related to this topic. The aim of this meeting is to investigate the shaping and the development of the notion of religion in western thought. We plan to research and analyze the various ways in which specialized literature posed the concept of religion as the object of study, together with the phenomena that have been attributed to such concept and the properties that have been deemed peculiar to this sphere, according to the views and positions of each single scholar. We will pay attention to the aims these scholars had, the classifications and theories they elaborated and the historical context they worked in.

Papers submitted may deal with the following topics:

  1. The meaning and development of the Latin word religio as it emerges from the sources at our disposal.
  2. The study of the terms in extra-European cultures usually deemed to indicate specifically the religious sphere, as dharma, din etc. Analysis of their meanings and historical  development, based on the sources at our disposal
  3. How did historical religions obtain their current denomination? How has this denomination been interpreted?
  4. How did western thought and in particular specialized studies approach the possibility of:
    • defining the concept of religion.
    • finding the characteristics that define a religious experience as such.
    • identifying the characteristics that qualify a religious individual as such.
    • idefining which peculiar traits of a religious group are elements that qualify it as such.
    • idefining the notion of “folk religion”.
    • describing and differentiating “sacred” and “profane”.
  5. What are the peculiarity of religions “invented” by scholars, e.g., animism, manism, shamanism etc.? What are the theoretical backgrounds for creating those categories?
  6.  Birth and development of the classification of religions, e.g. “monotheism” and “polytheism”.

References: M. Eliade, Traité d’histoire des religions, Paris 1949; E. de Martino, Furore Simbolo Valore, Milano 1962; C. Lévi-Strauss, La pensée sauvage, Paris 1962; A. Brelich, Introduzione alla
storia delle religioni, Roma 1966; T. Luckmann, The Invisible Religion: The Transformation of Symbols in Industrial Society, New York 1967; P. Bourdieu, Genèse et structure du champ religieux, “Revue française de sociologie” 12 (3), 1971, pp. 295-334; C. Geertz, The Interpretation of Cultures, New York 1973; Th.P. van Baaren – H.W.J. Drijvers (eds.), Religion, Culture and Methodology. Papers of the Groningen Working-group for the Study of Fundamental Problems and Methods of Science of Religion, Paris 1973; J.Z. Smith, Imagining Religion: From Babylon to Jonestown, Chicago-London 1982; B. Morris, Anthropological Studies of Religion, Cambridge 1990; D. Sabbatucci, Sommario di storia delle religioni, Roma 1991; E.T. Lawson – R.N. McCauley, Rethinking Religion. Connecting Cognition and Culture, Cambridge 1993; T. Asad, Genealogies of Religion: Discipline and Reasons of Power in Christianity and Islam, London 1993; U. Bianchi (ed.), The Notion of “Religion” in Comparative Research. Selected Proceedings of the XVI IAHR Congress, Rome 1994; T. Fitzgerald, A Critique of ‘Religion’ as a Cross-Cultural Category, “Method and Theory in the Study of Religion” 9 (2), 1997, pp. 91-110; A. Simonicca – F. Dei, Simbolo e teoria nell’antropologia religiosa, Lecce 1998; D. Sabbatucci, La prospettiva storico-religiosa, Formello (RM) 2000; M. Nye, Religion, Post-Religionism, and Religioning: Religious Studies and Contemporary Cultural Debates, “Method and Theory in the Study of Religion” 12, 2000, pp. 447-476; W. Braun – R.T. McCutheon (eds.), Guide to the Study of Religion, New York 2000; P. Boyer, Et l’homme créa les dieux, Paris 2001; A.L. Greil – D.G. Bromley (eds.), Defining Religion: Investigating the Boundaries between the Sacred and Secular, Oxford 2003; J. Corrigan, Religion and Emotion. Approaches and Interpretations, Oxford-New York 2004; G. Filoramo, Che cos’è la religione. Temi metodi problemi, Torino 2004; M. Stausberg (ed.), Contemporary Theories of Religion: a Companion, London 2009; P. Scarpi, Si fa presto a dire Dio. Riflessioni per un multiculturalismo religioso, Milano 2010; L. Berzano – A. Castegnaro – E. Pace, Religiosità popolare nella società post-secolare. Nuovi approcci teorici e nuovi campi di ricerca, Padova 2014; E. Pace, Una religiosità senza religioni. Spirito, mente e corpo nella cultura olistica contemporanea, Napoli 2015.

Our conference will be structured in the following sections:
1. Religious Anthropology (coordinator/supervisor Alessandra Ciattini – Sapienza Università di
2. Philosophy of Religion (coordinator Paolo Vinci – Sapienza Università di Roma)
3. Sociology of Religion (coordinator Enzo Pace – Università degli Studi di Padova)
4. History of Religions (coordinator Paolo Scarpi – Università degli Studi di Padova)

Administrative office: Igor Baglioni (Museo delle Religioni “Raffaele Pettazzoni”)

Please send a one-page abstract (max 2.000 characters) to Igor Baglioni, the director of the museum, ( by April 15.
Attached to the abstract should be: the title of the paper; the chosen area; a short biography of the authors; email address and phone number.

Papers may be written and presented in English, French, Italian and Spanish.

The acceptance of papers will be communicated only to the selected contributors by 2016, April 25.

Please send the complete paper not later than June 26. The delivery of the paper is required to
participate in the conference.

Important deadlines: Closing for call for papers: April 15th, 2016.
Admission: April 25th, 2016.
Delivery of paper: June 26th, 2016.
Conference: July 12-13-14-15-16th, 2016

There is no attendance fee. The participants who don’t live in Rome or surroundings will be accommodated in hotels and bed-and-breakfasts which have an agreement with the Museum of
Religions Raffaele Pettazzoni to offer discounted prices. Papers will be published on Religio. Collana di Studi del Museo delle Religioni “Raffaele Pettazzoni” (Edizioni Quasar), and in specialized journals. All the papers will be peer-reviewed. The conference will be associated to the cultural event “Castelli Romani. Mito, Religioni e Tradizioni Eno-Gastronomiche” organized by the Fondazione “Museo delle Religioni Raffaele Pettazzoni”. The town of Albano Laziale, Ariccia, Artena, Castelgandolfo, Genzano, Lanuvio, Lariano, Monte Porzio Catone, Nemi, Rocca di Papa and Velletri also patronize the event.

The conference participants are offered the opportunity to visit each evening one of these towns and participate in the cultural activities organized in occasion of the cultural exhibition for free. The excursion programme will be presented at the same time as the conference programme.

For information: email:


International conference


Padua (Italy), April 14-15, 2016

The relationship between religion and human rights is controversial and debated. The aim of the  international conference is to take stock of the complex connections between religion and
human rights, emphasizing that both the definition and the application of these two concepts are  influenced by the different social and cultural contexts within which they are placed.
Starting from the geopolitical changes which have involved contemporary society on a global scale, the conference intends to critically evaluate the two main narratives on this topic: on the
one hand religions understood as an element opposing the affirmation of human rights, and on the other religions considered as agencies facilitating the implementation of human rights.
Religious rights, understood as individual and/or collective rights, are disputed as well.
How do religious traditions and new religious communities approach human rights issues? How do states manage religious traditions and religious diversification? How are human rights
discourses and practices affected by the social context?
Participants are invited to explore from different disciplinary perspectives the following topics:

  • freedom of expression,
  • speech, choice, association;
  • non-discrimination;
  • gender issues;
  • religionstate relations;
  • violence;
  • conflict;
  • peace.

Confirmed keynote speakers:
Eileen Barker, London School of Economics
Lori Beaman, University of Ottawa
Willy Fautré, Human Rights Without Frontiers International
Silvio Ferrari, University of Milan
Enzo Pace, University of Padua
James Richardson, University of Nevada
Hans-Georg Ziebertz, University of Wuerzburg

The international conference is organized by the Joint PhD Programme on “Human Rights, Society, and Multi-level Governance” (Universities of Athens-Panteion, Padua, Western Sydney, Zagreb).

Scientific Committee:
Giuseppe Giordan, University of Padua; Adam Possamai, Western Sidney University;
Constantin Preda, University of Bucharest; Siniša Zrinščak, University of Zagreb.

Abstracts (300 words) should be sent to Giuseppe Giordan ( no later  than January 15th, 2016.

Acceptance notification will be sent by January 25th, 2016.

There are no fees for attendance.

Lived Religion. An ethnographical insight

Lived Religion. An ethnographical insight

Religion today lies at the heart of a cultural and political debate, related to immigration, human  rights, the role of women and democracy in general. Various questions are asked about what criteria define a lay, pluralistic space and its physical and symbolical boundaries. From this point of view examination of multiple expressions of religiosity in the human body, in physical and symbolic spaces and in the relationship among individuals, and between individuals and space, assumes critical importance.

For over a century, social sciences have been highlighting that “religion” is a plural category, a composite set of organizations, actors, practices, beliefs, meanings, relations, values and traditions.
Since the 1980s, the concept of “lived religion” has expressed a living, fluid, pluralistic and everyday dimension of religions: religion is part of daily life; religiosity is expressed through a
variable set of collective and individual, institutionalised and informal, hybrid and codified practices.

We believe that an ethnographical prospective allows us productively to examine such religious ecology and with this end in view we invite contributions dealing with the theme of religion in daily
life – lived religion – based on solid empirical analysis. The areas in which the theme may be declined include:

  • Native religions in today’s world;
  • Religious tradition and innovation;
  • Female religious experience, for example in churches, in alternative spirituality, in religious  groups/movements and in politics;
  • Mobile religion including pilgrimages and religious tourism;
  • Religion, economics and consumption;
  • Religion, the human body and mass media.

To submit your proposal please send an e-mail to conveners Alberta Giorgi, Stefania Palmisano, Giovanna Rech and to the conference committee (, indicating the title of the chosen session. Please send:

  •  the title of your talk and an abstract of maximum 1000 words (.doc, .docx, .odt, .txt, .rtf);
  • your contact details (full name, e-mail, post address and affiliation) and those of your co-author/s, if any;
  • if you like, a short videotalk (2 min. max.). More info here .

Abstracts (and video talks) must be submitted in English. The official languages of the conference, however, are Italian, English, and French; for each session, languages will be used depending on the participants composition.

Proposal must be submitted by January 15, 2016.


by Emanuela C. Del Re

This documentary-film is the results of a research carried out by prof. Del Re with EPOS between 2013 and June 2015. It shows the lives of the Christian community before and after the attack by the Islamic State to their communities living in Iraq in 2014, offering a unique wide perspective to understand the issue of the persecution of minorities in the Middle East today. The documentary shows the aspirations for the future, the living conditions and the positive vision of the Christians before the attack by the Islamic State (2013), and what has happened thereafter, through the voices of many Christians of Iraq, including the Louis R. Sako, the Patriarch of Baghdad.

In June 2014 the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), also known as Daesh, has brutally conquered the territories inhabited by the Christian, Yazidi and Shabak communities. All the minorities in Iraq are seriously endangered since then and suffer from all sort of violence and deprivations. Many Christians from Iraq have been forced to flee their lands and have found refuge in Iraqi-Kurdistan, in camps. There are now about 250 thousand Christian IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) living in Iraqi-Kurdistan now. Their future is endangered and emigration to safer lands seems to many the only solution. Christians in Iraq have decreased from 1.5 million in 2003 to an estimated 800 thousand in 2015. Their number is decreasing every day.

Prof. Emanuela C. Del Re is a well known expert in geopolitics and conflict studies, minorities, migration and refugee issues. Specialist in the Middle East, Balkans, Caucasus, she is full Professor of Political Sociology and Political Phenomena of the Middle East at the University of Rome. She has carried out field work researches in conflict areas since 1990. She has authored numerous essays and books. Being an expert in Visual Sociology, she has filmed many documentaries. She is the Chair and Founder of EPOS Intl. Mediating and Negotiating Operational Agency, and the Leader and Creator of MY FUTURE project for Syrian Refugees and the reconstruction of the Syrian civil society

Italy 2015, 50′

Prima conferenza italiana European Values Study (EVS)

immagine testata

Prima conferenza italiana European Values Study (EVS)

La conferenza si propone di esplorare l’evoluzione degli orientamenti valoriali degli italiani negli ultimi tre decenni (1981 – 2008) collocandoli all’interno del più ampio quadro europeo. Particolare attenzione sarà posta al ruolo che il territorio e le esperienze condivise da persone appartenenti alla stessa generazione possono avere sul processo di cambiamento sociale. La conferenza si pone come momento di riflessione sulla realtà sociale italiana con l’obiettivo di fornire spunti per l’ideazione di strategie di uscita dalla attuale crisi economica, sociale e politica che caratterizza il nostro paese.

La conferenza vuole inoltre offrire un’opportunità di incontro per gli studiosi italiani che si occupano di ricerca sul cambiamento dei valori e che utilizzano nella loro ricerca i dati EVS.

Direzione della Conferenza

  • Ruud Luijkx (Tilburg University, Università degli Studi di Trento)
  • Gabriele Pollini (Università degli Studi di Trento)
  • Cristiano Vezzoni (Università degli Studi di Trento)
  • Vera Lomazzi (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano)

Comitato scientifico

  • Ruud Luijkx (Tilburg University, Università degli Studi di Trento)
  • Gabriele Pollini, Salvatore Abbruzzese, Cristiano Vezzoni, Raffaele Guetto, Albertina Pretto (Università degli Studi di Trento)
  • Giancarlo Rovati, Vera Lomazzi (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano)
  • Ferruccio Biolcati-Rinaldi (Università degli Studi di di Milano)

Segreteria scientifica

Cristiano Vezzoni, Vera Lomazzi

Keynote speakers

David Voas, Deputy Director, Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex, UK
Bart Meuleman, Centre for Sociological Research, KU Leuven, Belgium
Malcolm Fairbrother, School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, UK
Loredana Sciolla, Dipartimento di Culture, Politica e Società, Università di Torino

Le lingue della conferenza sono l’italiano e l’inglese. La sessione generale in cui verranno presentate le relazioni dei keynote speakers si svolgerà in inglese.

Abrastact e Iscrizioni

Si invitano contributi empiricamente fondati su dati di qualità, in particolare sulla serie storica trentennale fornita dall’European Values Study, sia focalizzati sull’Italia che sulla comparazione dell’Italia con altri paesi europei. È possibile inviare una proposta di contributo alla conferenza attraverso l’invio di un abstract di massimo 400 parole entro il 20 settembre 2015 alla segreteria scientifica ( Le proposte possono essere sia in italiano sia in inglese.
Le procedure di pagamento apriranno il 1° settembre 2015.
La comunicazione degli abstract selezionati avverrà entro il 30 settembre.


La presentazione degli abstract è aperta e si chiuderà il 20 settembre 2015.
La lista degli abstract selezionati verrà comunicata entro la fine di settembre.
Le iscrizioni alla conferenza apriranno il 1° settembre e si chiuderanno il 31 ottobre 2015.

Iscrizioni online

Quota iscrizione

  • Membri strutturati dell’Università: € 60,00
  • Phd, Assegnisti: € 30,00
  • Studenti: € 15,00
  • Esterni: € 60,00

La quota d’iscrizione include il pranzo del 13 novembre e i coffee break.


Aperte le iscrizioni online
Scadenza: 31 ottobre


Cristiano Vezzoni
tel. +39 0461 281465
fax  +39 0461 281458

Segreteria Dipartimento di Sociologia Ricerca Sociale
Via Verdi, 26 – 38122 Trento
tel +39 0461 281322 -1430
fax +39 0461 281458

Dialogo di uomini e religioni

Assisi, 17-18 Ottobre 2015

“Ascolta la mia voce
e dacci la forza di saper rispondere sempre
all’odio con l’amore.
All’ingiustizia con un totale impegno per la giustizia,
alla miseria con la condivisione,
alla guerra con la pace.
O Dio, ascolta la mia voce
e concedi al mondo la tua pace.”

S. Giovanni Paolo II

PROGRAMMA Sabato 17 ottobre 2015

ore 9.30 Accoglienza e registrazione dei partecipanti.

ore 10.00 Interventi introduttivi:
S.E. Mons. Domenico Sorrentino, Vescovo di Assisi
Madre Mariangela Yator OSB, Abbadessa Monastero di S. Giuseppe – Assisi
Dott. Bruno Portigliatti, Presidente Centro Informazione Buddhista – Giaveno (Torino)

ore 11.00 Padre Cipriano Carini OSB – Abbazia di S. Pietro – Assisi: Papa Francesco e il dialogo

ore 11.30 Rev. Abate Fausto Taiten Guareschi – Monastero Zen Sōtō di Fudenji – Salsomaggiore (Parma)

Camminare insieme con “i segni dei tempi” – Communitas e immunitas

ore 12.00 pausa

ore 12.15 Dott. Gianluigi Nicola – Associazione Italiana Teilhard de Chardin – Torino

Oltre all’idea ancestrale di religione: la personalizzazione e la diafania in Teilhard de Chardin

ore 12.45 interventi dei partecipanti

ore 13.00 pranzo

Sessione pomeridiana

ore 15.00 Padre Silvestro Bejan OFM – Centro Francescano
Internazionale per il Dialogo – Assisi
Dialogo e Profezia: una prospettiva francescana dello “spirito di Assisi”

ore 15.30 Imam Yahya Pallavicini – Vice Presidente COREIS (Comunità
Religiosa Islamica Italiana) – Roma
“Và e ripara la Mia Casa che cade in rovina”, una lettura islamica ed ecumenica

ore 16.00 visita guidata a S. Damiano

ore 19.30 cena

ore 21.30 proiezione filmati

Domenica 18 ottobre 2015

ore 7.30 Celebrazione Eucaristica con la Comunità.

ore 8.00 colazione (self service)

ore 9.30 Suor Maria Grazia Conti – Monastero S. Biagio – Mondovì (Cuneo)
L’archetipo del monaco: il cammino dello spirito

ore 10.00 Prof. Don Luigi Berzano – Università degli Studi di Torino
L’ana­teismo e la secolarità sacra di Raimon Panikkar

ore 10.30 pausa

ore 10.45 Svamini Shuddhananda Giri – Unione Induista Italiana – Roma
Verso una nuova convivenza religiosa: ahimsa, il non­nuocere alcuno

ore 11.15 Dott. Luigi De Salvia – Religions for Peace – Roma
Lo spirito di Assisi come risposta alla sfida permanente dell’ostilità

ore 11.45 interventi dei partecipanti

ore 12.15 Preghiera interreligiosa

ore 13.00 pranzo e partenze

La partecipazione al Convegno è gratuita. Per i congressisti è possibile pernottare presso il Monastero di S. Giuseppe a partire dal 16 ottobre e usufruire del trattamento di mezza pensione o pensione completa ad un prezzo concordato. Si prega di prenotare direttamente presso il Monastero:
075 812332 – 812853 – 812952 –

Per informazioni: o | 0119378331

Religioni, Italia, Europa

Piccolo festival delle religioni

Religioni, Italia Europa 

12, 13 e 20 ottobre – ore 18.00

Chiesa metodista, Via Firenze, 38 – Roma

12 ottobre
Secolarizzazione e religioni nell’Europa di oggi
Paolo Naso e Vincenzo Pace

presentazioni dei volumi
Paolo Naso, “L’incognita post-secolare”
Vincenzo Pace, “Una religiosità senza religioni”

13 ottobre
Spiritualità senza Dio?
Luigi Berzano
presentazione della collana “Spiritualità senza Dio?”

20 ottobre
I testimoni di Geova
presentazione del libro di Massimo Introvigne, ne discutono l’autore e Andrea Tornielli

Introducono i lavori:
Maria Immacolata Macioti
Claudio Paravati