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Articles - 2014

Albanian martyrs

The Long Avenue of Totalitarianism

Communist State atheism did not managed to overpower the Albanian Church, as demonstrated by the faces of 39 martyrs who were killed during the dictatorship and who struck Pope Francis.

30/09/2014 | Martino Diez | Religions and the public sphere
Pope Francis in Mother Theresa square

With Francis from the Periphery to the Centre of the World: ‘Fly High’

The witness of Albanian martyrs, religious freedom, the cry not to use the name of God to commit violence: some key passages from the speech of Pope Francis given in Tirana.

30/09/2014 | Marialaura Conte | Religions and the public sphere
A mosque in Tirana

The Red Terror has Silenced the Minarets but not the Hearts of Believers

A young scholar, Skender Bruçai, who was born in 1976, has led the Islamic community of Albania, which makes up about 60% of the overall population, since last March. He followed with great attention every stage of the day that Pope Francis spent in this ‘periphery’ in which the Communist regime for a quarter of a century tried to destroy religious faith in a systematic and inhuman way, but without succeeding.

30/09/2014 | Marialaura Conte | Interreligious dialogue

Francis in the Outskirts that tried to Cancel God

The Pope has been in Tirana on Sunday 21 September. The director of the Caritas of Albania describes the expectations as regards this unexpected visit and also the deep wounds that are still open today in a country that is undergoing an economic and cultural recovery, but which still has to deal with its Communist past.

22/09/2014 | Marialaura Conte | Religions and the public sphere
President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi

Yemen: New Scenarios behind the Armed Clashes in Sana’a

After the fall of its thirty-year regime, this country with a strategic position in the Arab peninsula is going through a season of grave economic crisis and new disorders which allow us to perceive a possible change in the equilibriums that have existed hitherto between Sunnis and Shiites.

22/09/2014 | Laura Silvia Battaglia | Arab Revolutions
Michele Brignone

Where the Violence of the Islamist Revival Comes from

The birth of the IS was not an unforeseen contingency but, instead, the uncalculated result of decades of Islamist rhetoric and propaganda which were also generated by the ambiguities of reformist thought. The anti-conformist analysis of the Egyptian scholar, Sherif Younis.

22/09/2014 | Michele Brignone | Religions and the public sphere

Syriac Church: 122 manuscripts from Mossul

122 Syriac and Garshuni manuscripts from the library of Mar Toma Syrian Catholic Church in Mosul have been digitalized and published online.

11/09/2014 | Eastern Christians

The Islamic State Explained to my Son

Islam, violence, holy war and the caliphate: a conversation in three voices to answer the most frequent questions that the news of recent months has provoked in a pressing way. A dialogue with Martino Diez and Michele Brignone, by Maria Laura Conte.

10/09/2014 | Marialaura Conte, Martino Diez, Michele Brignone | Religions and the public sphere

Emergency: Refugees in Iraq

AVSI Foundation is launching a fundraising campaign in support of Iraqi refugees, mostly Christians, who have found refuge in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan, following clashes between the Islamic state and Kurdish militias in the north-east Iraq.

05/09/2014 | Arab Revolutions

Generative, therefore Free

If it is hard to provide an unequivocal explanation for the protests that have been agitating the world’s squares for a few years now (and those in Southern Europe and North Africa, in particular), it may at least be said that they have two elements in common. On the one hand, technology, which is helping to determine ...

03/09/2014 | Mauro Magatti | Religions and the public sphere

The Voice of the Prophets

Institutions in Crisis. While sclerotic political structures are collapsing under the onslaughts of democratic movements, leaving room for violence’s contagion, prophetic authority is once more being pondered as a source of inspiration for a new form of politics to guard against the risk that the State may arrogate to itself rights that it does not have.

03/09/2014 | Benoît Chantre | Religions and the public sphere

Used for power and then discarded

Egypt. The youth movements in the streets in 2011, whether made up of Copts, the Leftists or the Muslim Brothers, have been defeated by the continuation of the old rules of the game. After so many failed protests, they are working today on the creation of new forms of organisation to ‘protect the revolution’.

03/09/2014 | Georges Fahmi | Arab Revolutions

The unprecedented alliance of Taksim Square

Turkey. The center-periphery relationship no longer holds as a key by which to understand the current development of politics. The protesters of Gezi Park, with urban secular people and devout believers side by side, brought onto the stage the idea of a post-secular society, amidst seeds of innovation and examples of practical resistance.

03/09/2014 | Ateş Altınordu | Religions and the public sphere

If Europe Forgets Itself: the Root of the Crisis

Being generative. To reconstruct institutions, it is urgently important that we become aware of the original core of Europe in which, indeed, are kept the anthropological premises of our democracies. Work on the social body and commitment to education can start afresh from here.

03/09/2014 | Sergio Belardinelli | Religions and the public sphere

Beyond the Tangles of Civil Society

Religions and the public space. In Africa, the Churches have played an active role in the political world in the promotion of democracy and human rights, at times supporting governments and at others challenging them, according to changing alliances which have been remodelled on the basis of national and international contexts.

03/09/2014 | Michael Jennings | Religions and the public sphere

The Price of Imperial Hubris

Iraq. The American project, aggravated by local responsibilities, has had devastating effects: it created a link between jihadism and secular anti-Western movements; it injected an ethnic-religious sectarianism that has lacerated the socio-political fabric of the country; and it strengthened Washington’s rivals in the region.

03/09/2014 | Riccardo Redaelli | Arab Revolutions

The Return of the Jihad after the Spring

A disputed revolution. Challenged by the Arab insurrections, Jihadist ideologues have tried to appropriate the anti-authoritarian movements to deviate them in an Islamist direction. The timid openings to post-revolutionary and democratic projects have not lasted and the original ideas have mostly been confirmed.

03/09/2014 | Joas Wagemakers | Arab Revolutions

How many competitors for a caliphate without frontiers

Salafism and violence. The ideal of an Islamic State divides the Jihadist movement in Syria. On the one hand, there are those who do not hesitate to use any kind of violence, even against Muslims, in order to establish such a State as soon as possible; on the other, there are those who believe that winning popular support is a priority.

02/09/2014 | Cole Bunzel | Arab Revolutions

Appeal to the Shiites: Integrated not Hegemonic

Creative jurisprudence. In his Testaments Muhammad Mahdi Shamseddine produced a general vision of Islam that is characterised by clemency and moderation. And he called on the Muslim faithful to belong to the world in order to contribute to the construction of a civil state that would defend the complex components of society.

02/09/2014 | Ibrahim Mohammad Mahdi Shamseddine | The Peoples of Islam

Does the One God Legitimate Violence?

The Gospel of Peace. Despite the efforts of a part of the Western intelligentsia to present the monotheistic religions as intrinsically violent, Christianity’s novelty has paved the way for a purification that is also calling to the other great religions.

02/09/2014 | Pierangelo Sequeri | Religions and the public sphere
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