Last update: 2018-06-11 15:44:22
From the Modern Era onwards, laicality is to be considered the foundation of the entire historical evolution of the West. It has assumed the value of stronghold of civil society beyond the claims to world leadership by the spiritual power -- despite the awareness that to forget transcendence means placing the human community in a precarious situation. If totalitarianism, left and right, fought against laicality in a number of ways throughout the twentieth century -- the Nazi-fascist tolerance of religion as instrumentum regni, the practical atheism of the Communists --, the return to a healthy laicality today shows a variety of fronts, from ethics to multiculturalism. In the field of ethics moderation is needed as never before vis à vis the twofold risk of, on one hand, the rhetoric of human rights confining ethics to an abstract plane as opposed to a purely private morality; on the other, a relapse into new forms of ethical State, i.e., one which regulates the individual's behaviour. Family, procreation and euthanasia are borderline issues for an ethics of moderation. In the field of multiculturalism the author identifies the most uncertain element as the relationship with Islam: a Europe which has turned indifferent to its own lay principles is in danger of suicide before the challenges imposed by the multicultural dialogue with different faiths and world views. The only possible dialogue starts from the awareness of one's historical and cultural roots.