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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Piazza and the Temple: new meeting of the Courtyard of the Gentiles

Vatican City, 3 March 2015 (VIS) - “The Piazza and the Temple” is the title of an event to take place next Friday, 6 March, in the Centre for American Studies in Rome. It is an initiative of the Courtyard of the Gentiles, a forum for dialogue between believers and non-believers which has for some years organised meetings of this type in various cities throughout the world, under the auspices of the Pontifical Council for Culture.

The event in Rome, organised with the collaboration of the Institut Francais-Centre St. Louis of the French Embassy at the Holy See and the Council for Research in Values and Philosophy, will be a meeting between believers and non-believers on how these two sensibilities – city square and temple – can coexist in the twenty-first century. According to a communique released by the Courtyard of the Gentiles, “the square is increasingly occupied by merchants, and by those who demand justice for the victims of merchants. The faithful of the temple also ask that their voice be heard in the square, because in a free society the square must be open to all”. The meeting will facilitate discussion regarding “the way in which these different voices can coexist, what limits every right involves, and the relationship that the square and the temple can have with the Palace”, or seats of power. A post-secular dialogue, that unfolds against the backdrop of the sure decline of an idea of secularisation according to which the temples would have gradually emptied”.

The chair and moderator will be the constitutional lawyer and former prime minister of Italy, Giuliano Amato, president of the Courtyard of the Gentiles Foundation. The meeting will also be attended by the Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor, author of the influential essay “A Secular Age”, among other works, and other experts on the theme of secularisation: Jose Casanova, professor of the sociology of religion at Georgetown University, Washington D.C., U.S.A.; Alessandro Ferrara, professor of political philosophy at the Tor Vergata University of Rome; Giacomo Marramao, professor of theoretical philosophy at the University of Rome III; and Francois Bousquet, historian and anthropologist of religions.

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