The Crucifix in State Schools in Italy, Victim of Globalization, between Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Education

Renata Tokrri
2021 Journal of Educational and Social Research  
The interest to analyse the phenomenon of the exposure of religious symbols, particularly of the crucifix, in state schools in Italy and the principle of secularism, derives from the cultural and constitutional peculiarities that this system presents, as a consequence of the historical and cultural events that have influenced its ordering. First of all, it must be pointed out, as indeed it is evident, that Catholicism was the dominant faith for about two thousand years, and until recently,
more » ... t the only one. The Catholic religion has crossed the entire history of the country, penetrating and intertwining with the socio-cultural dynamics. For this reason, the Italian constitutional history has been crossed by the principle of tolerance. The latter can be considered clearly out-dated only with the Republican Constitution of 1948, thus the legal system emptied itself of its confessionalism. The last few years, as a result of strong migratory flows, the religious-cultural landscape, not only in Italy, but throughout Europe it seems to have changed. Other cultures have brought their own customs, languages and religions like a wave. Thus we are witnessing an extraordinary social, economic and juridical transformation. In this multicultural mosaic, the clash between civilizations could not be missing. Minorities have in many cases felt they were discriminated against, bullied and offended by the display in public buildings (schools, courtrooms, hospitals, etc.) of the symbol par excellence of Christianity, namely the crucifix, arousing the protest of parents of different faiths. All this has produced legal conflicts and jurisprudential rulings that have involved the European Court of Human Rights itself. This discussion aims to analyze from a socio-juridical point of view, the consequences of religious symbology external to educational institutions and to be able to give a juridical truth, stripped of religious indoctrination. This path will not be easy since every element inherent to religion touches delicate aspects, linked in particular with what is most profound in the people and culture of a country. Received: 2 March 2021 / Accepted: 14 April 2021 / Published: 10 May 2021
doi:10.36941/jesr-2021-0061 fatcat:zwcid5mzijhhdhe2n6vk5uuupm