Cesare Pinelli

Principle of Laity, Freedom of Religion and Definitions of 'Relativism'.

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The theme of the relationship between the principle of laity and freedom of religion has cropped up in the review with the essays by Francesco Rimoli and Aldo Travi. A difference of opinion appears to exist, above all as regards the connection between the interpretation of constitutional principles and prospects for living together. It seems useful to compare the two contributions from this standpoint, and proceed from there to focus on the most awkward points in constitutional terms of the controversy underway. The present text therefore tackles the following problems: interpretations of freedom of religion and the constitutional notion of the person; meanings of life in common: from the 'working agreement' to the 'search for a model of life'; the boundary between the informal public sphere and institutional circuits such as 'threshold of entry for lay reasons' according to Habermas; the principles considered 'non-negotiable' by the Catholic Church, and the modalities and motivations for the promotion thereof; definitions of relativism in recent positions of the Church; relativism according to Kelsen; spheres of public debate and learning processes in a pluralistic democracy.


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