ANSORGE Dirk Italie - Anglais, 2018

Conference of Dirk ANSORGE, at the PLURIEL Second International Congress in Rome

Religious affiliation, belonging and apostaasy : a case study of Christian and Moslem conceptions.


It is well known that in Christianity – particularly in the European mainline churches – religious affiliation primarily is not founded in belief, but in baptism. According to traditional Christian faith, baptism creates what theology calls a “character indelebilis”. This means that even in case of apostasy or faithlessness the unbeliever doesn’t cease being Christian. However, at least for Catholics the Second Vatican Council shed new light on the legitimacy of religious conversion by emphasizing the pivotal role of human conscience. The decision of a learned human conscience has to be respected even if it suggests leaving the church or if it leads to atheism. Therefore the paper will discuss the theological and juridical impact of renunciation from Christianity in order to compare it with Muslim conceptions of religious affiliation, renunciation, and apostasy. How can one conceive the relationship between juridical affiliation and the practice of belief, behaviour, and belonging?