Conference organized by the department of religious science of Università Cattolica di Milano

Religions have regained a considerable role in the public space, to an extent that was hardly imaginable until recently. With the beginning of the century, religiosity seems to consist in the  flourishing of beliefs and belongings – however, this occurs in the context of secularized societies, with the risk of ephemeral ‘DIY (do it yourself)’ and unscrupulous spirituality borrowing “updated” symbols from traditional beliefs, for purposes that often do not relate to the experience of a ‘genuine’ religiosity.

The emptiness that has arisen with the crisis of the great secular ideologies of the last century cannot be filled by a trivializing appeal to religious-racial identities often results in an increasingly widespread and worrisome religious illiteracy as well as it in ‘politicization’.

Understanding these dynamics does not only means describing and analyzing them, but involves the delicate task of imagining possible strategies to channel useful energies in initiatives aimed at countering problematic deviances.


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Università Cattolica di Milano

October, 9th 2019


Room: G 016 – Maria Immacolata

h 9.30/17.30


Welcome Introduction


Angelo Bianchi, Dean of the Faculty of Letters and Philosophy

Marco Rizzi, Director of the Department of Religious Sciences


h 10

First Session: History

  • Branca, “Rethinking Albert Hourani’s Arabic Thought in the Liberal Age 37 years later” (in French)
  • Matteo Legrenzi, University of Venice, The Legacy of Hourani’s view in the Middle Eastern Studies
  • Mostfa Mohamed-Ali, Maître de conférences sur le monde arabo-musulman et les représentations interculturelles – Université Catholique de Lyon


h 11.30

Second Session: is Past coming back?


  • Fabio Introini, Giulia Mezzetti, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore & Fondazione ISMU, An ecological persepctive for exploring jihadist radicalization processes. A theoretical proposal
  • Michele Esposti-Ongaro, PHD, University of Pavia/Pluriel – Università Cattolica of Milano, History Teaching and Reorientation of History in the Public School Textbooks of the Gulf Countries. The Case of Kuwait.
  • Paolo Gonzaga, Islamic Radical Literature: from the Muslim Brothers to Isis.



Third Session: Experiences of education and formation


  • Antonio Cuciniello, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore & Fondazione ISMU, Interpreting the Muslim World in some Italian Textbooks
  • Marco Demichelis, University of Navarra, Education = Integration, identities and narratives for a preventive non-radicalization
  • Davide Tacchini, F.-Schiller-Universität, Jena, Germany: “Human Mobility, Refugees and Reconciliation in the MENA Region”.
  • Khaled Qatam, former Prof. of Arabic University of Parma, Italy: “The image of the current Islamic guides and its reflection in the new Muslim generations”