Observatory on Religion in Public Space  

aims at addressing the complex relations between politics, religion, culture and gender on a worldwide scale, although primarily focusing on Southern European contexts and on their articulation with the external border with Africa and the Middle East, as well as with the Latin-America. We believe that the so-called “(re)emergence of religion in Europe” and beyond cannot be subject to an analysis solely focused on the increase of religious diversity nor on the debate on the relation between secularism and modernity. Religions, in the current period of (re)emergence of new (and old), forms of nationalism, are oftentimes a further argument for the exclusion of others. These forms of exclusion are multiple, therefore demanding an intersectional perspective taking religions’ positive and negative relation with the gender, racialization and social issues into consideration.

Our approach is based on four pillars:

1. on a critical discussion of the essentialist exclusivism of the religious canons (i.e. of the difficulties that religions face regarding an ecology of religious experiences, and in acknowledging the importance of the “secular structures”), preventing the debate between religion, politics and gender, as well as the configuration of societies as spaces of cultural/religious diversity and of tolerance;

 2. on a postcolonial debate seeking to question the religious diversity and the religious identify policies of European societies, while considering the historicity of the process which transformed Europe into the modern West;

3. the historically constructed articulation between politics and “race” and of the religion that currently informs the “minorities” governance and the development of political struggles and their subjectivities;

4. the development of “otherness” within the limits of a religious approach establishing itself as ecumenical and inter-religious.

POLICREDOS articulates critical and normative approaches, as well as articulations between Theology and Social and Human Sciences from different disciplines, seeking to contribute to an “ecology of knowledges” around religion and its articulation with politics and culture.


POLICREDOS aggregates research developed at CES on religion, organizes scientific events and public debates and hosts external researchers.




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Center of Excelence - Assessment of Research Units carried out by the Ministry of Science and Technology, 2005