Religious groups, communities, and institutions are involved in the process of space sharing and contesting and follow dialectic dynamics in their struggle for recognition as other groups. From a juridical point of view, religious minorities should be respected and protected in all democratic countries. Through the analysis of specific religious groups, in particular their localisation in the Italian territory in terms of settlement in religious places, I propose in this paper a reflection on the conceptual but also social, political, and legal tightness of the categories of majority and minority. By focusing on selected dichotomies, already discussed in other studies, and subjected to criticism through the filter of ‘hybridity’ and ‘in-between,’ I will suggest how they serve both as a mirror of the minority and majority binomial slipperiness and as an instrument to verify its vacuous consistency. The word-pairs that will be analysed in this article serve to describe the chaotic Italian religious geography. Furthermore, their hybrid relationship is helpful to overturn the cultural, political, social, and legal necessity of using and applying the categories in question as static. Against the constituted secular/religious dichotomy or binary approach, I will move through other word pairs such as urban/non-urban, edification or replacement/sharing and visible (but also sensorial: olfactory and audible)/invisible (and not olfactory and not audible). The religious Italian space is a fabric of innovation, not without ambiguities or tensions, and characterised by the coexistence of diversities.
Giorda, M.C. (2022). Sharing Space Beyond Dichotomies: A Geo-History of Italian Religious Places. In Religion and Urbanity Online. Berlin, Boston : De Gruyter.