Religious dietary rules and the protection of religious freedom: some evidence from practice in Italy
AbstractIn the Italian system freedom of worship provided by the Constitution is safeguarded by unilateral and contractual norms, sanctioned for minority confessions by an agreement, named intesa, that also concerns dietary issues. Muslim communities, however, as they have no intesa with the Italian state, are always compelled to negotiate in respect of their religious norms. Religious freedom concerns- not only ritual acts, but also behaviours including dietary ones, which are based on religious beliefs. The aim of this paper is to critically reconstruct how Italy takes charge of religiously-motivated needs concerning food and beverages, both for those confessions holding an intesa (such as Hebraism) and for those not (Islam), in order to trace the real degree to which freedom of worship is guaranteed in Italy. The analysis will be focused on the bargaining for religious dietary rules in schools and in constraining institutes, as they are main social spaces of confrontation between believers and the state.
Copyright (c) 2015 Miriam Abu Salem
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