Guillaume Silhol – « Chapter 10. Religious Freedom between Politics and Policies : Social and Legal Conflicts over Catholic Religious Education in Italy, 1984–1992 »


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This chapter examines the implementation of the reform of Catholic Religious Education (Insegnamento della religione cattolica, irc) in Italian schools between 1984 and 1992, applying a sociological perspective on the judicialization of “religious freedom.” First, the management of irc and of “alternative activities” was shaped by conflictual frames and uneven power relations. Second, they were redefined by collective actions involving religious institutions, teachers’ unions, parents’ associations, secular activists, lawyers, and political representatives. Thus, this process did not isolate recourses to the courts from other social arenas. The analysis concludes that the construction of “religious freedom” was embedded in dynamic relations between judicialization, politicization, and bureaucratization of irc.

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