Seminar | Policredos Working Group

Religious issues in Europe's far right. The cases of Portugal, Italy and Germany

Alberta Giorgi

Alexandre de Sousa Carvalho

Júlia Garraio

Teresa Toldy

December 2, 2020, 16h00-18h00 (GMT)

Online event

Moderator: Luciane Lucas dos Santos (CES)

During the last decade, the political map of Europe has been marked by the significant advance of the far right, with several countries now being governed by parties with programmes that, based on dichotomies "we" versus "they", claim to defend the "ordinary citizen" and the "nation" against external forces. Among the dangers pointed out are immigration, Islam, the European Union, big business (embodied by the anti-Semitic high ranks of the "rich Jew") and the "gender ideology". Feminisms and struggles for gender equality are here accused of threatening the family and the welfare of children and, from the conception of the biological family as a cell of society, as something harmful to the survival of the community. Against these "evils" the European Christian matrix is invoked as a cultural marker and value system.

The second Policredos webinar will deal with this evolution of the European political map. Through the cases of Portugal, Italy and Germany we want to discuss the presence of religious issues in the programmes and discourses of the extreme European rights of the 21st century. We will draw attention on the one hand to the importance of religious discourses in electoral mobilisation and, on the other hand, discuss how the various Christian religious actors and institutions have positioned themselves in the face of this type of political programme which claims to act in the name of Christian values. This is intended to promote a debate on the centrality of religion as a space through which to imagine, negotiate and construct identities and feelings of belonging and exclusion.

Bio note

Teresa Maria Leal de Assunção Martinho Toldy, PhD in Theology (feminist theology) at the Philosophisch-Theologische Hochschule Sankt Georgen (Frankfurt/Germany), Master in Theology (Catholic University, Lisbon) and 1st grade in Theology at the same University. Postdoctorate in CES. Professor at the Fernando Pessoa University. Teaches in the field of Ethics. Chair of the Ethics Comission of the same University (2012-2017, and from 2019 -).Researcher at CES. Co-coordinator of GT-POLICREDOS together with Júlia Garraio and Luciane Lucas Santos. Chair of the Portuguese Association of Feminist Theologies and former Vice-Chair of the Portuguese Association on Women's Studies (2009-2014). Member of the International Editorial Board of the Journal "Religion & Gender" and of the Editorial Board of the ESWTR Studies in Religion. Fields of specialization: religion; feminist studies. Other fields of interest: Citizenship. Publishes in the field of religion and feminist studies..

Alberta Giorgi is Assistant professor at the University of Bergamo, and associate researcher of the research groups GSRL (CNRS, Paris), CRAFT (University of Turin), POLICREDOS (CES, Coimbra). She participated to Grassrootsmobilise ERC-funded project. Alberta is vice-chair of the research network Political Sociology (European Sociological Association), co-convenor of the standing group Political Participation and Social Movements (Italian Association of Political Science), and elected board member of the research network on Religion (Italian Association of Sociology). Among her publications: European Culture Wars and the Italian Case. Which Side Are You On? (Routledge 2016, co-authored with L. Ozzano); Religious Feminists and the Intersectional Feminist Movements – Insights from a Case Study (European Journal of Women’s Studies, 2020). Guest editor (selection) Women, Religion, and Secularism, Social Compass (2017), co-edited with K. Aune M. Lovehim, T. Toldy, and T. Utrainen; Religion and territorial politics in southern Europe, Religion, State and Society (2016), co-edited with X. Itçaina. Current projects: Populism, Religion and Gender, Identities (forthcoming), co-edited with C. Norocel; Handbook of Religion and Politics in Europe, Routledge (forthcoming), co-edited with E. Fokas.  She works on the intersections of religion and politics – namely secularism, and gender and religion.

Júlia Garraio is researcher at the Centre for Social Studies (Humanities, Migrations and Peace Studies), integrating the research group Humanities, Migrations and Peace Studies.Co-coordinator of GT-POLICREDOS together with Teresa Toldy and Luciane Lucas Santos. Most of her research, activities and publications were dedicated to the German literature and culture in the 20th and 21st centuries. Her post-doctoral research project focused the cultural memories of the rape of German women and girls in the context of WWII. Her recent work examines how women's experiences in wartime are appropriated and transformed by gendered national scripts. Her current research interests include sexual violence, masculinities, feminisms, nationalism, comparative literature and media. She is co-founder of the international research group SVAC-Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict ( She integrates the International Editorial Board of the European Journal of Women's Studies ( She is a researcher of the project DECODEM(De)Coding Masculinities: Towards an enhanced understanding of media's role in shaping perceptions of masculinities in Portugal.

Alexandre de Sousa Carvalho is a PhD candidate in Political Science at ISCTE-IUL, has a Masters in African Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Bradford in the UK and a degree in International Relations from the University of Coimbra. He has over 10 years of research and advisory experience in academic research centres, research institutes, government agencies and non-governmental organisations, and as an expert consultant on over 30 reports for international development agencies and European Commission directories. His research interests include peace and security studies; populism and political science; masculinities and gender equality; internet and economic policy. He is a researcher for the DeCodeM - (De)Coding Masculinities: Towards an enhanced understanding of media's role in shaping perceptions of masculinities in Portugal.


This activity will be accessible through the Zoom platform and will be limited to number of available places.
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Password: 014695

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