Center for Mediterranean Religions

"Leading international thought and practice that will shape our knowledge-driven future"
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Studies on Religions and Nonviolence
The Center for Mediterranean Religions at AUS is a scientific center that intend highlights the important of the religious factor on the daily life of the Mediterranean regions. We bring together people from various part of the world and interested about the topic to become engaged in researches and project to rethink the relationship between religion, nation, and state throughout the Mediterranean basin from early modernity to the present.

Adnane Mokrani

Director
Muslim theologian, Associated Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies, Rome. A g g r e g a t e d (aggregato) Professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University (Rome), PhD in Islamic Theology from Al-Zaytuna University (Tunis), PhD in M u s l i m - C h r i s t i a n Relations from the Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies (Rome).
The Center is an interdisciplinary academic space of research and dialogue between religious and nonreligious scholars and students from different backgrounds to discuss and understand the complex relationship between religion and the public sphere in general, and between religion and violence and nonviolence in particular. Nonviolence is not only an ethical principle but also a holistic vision and an inclusive style of thought and life: from theology to ecology and from philosophy to politics. Nonviolence is the topic of the future, even more, there is no future without nonviolence, without our capacity to adopt nonviolent ways of thinking and acting. It is a survival emergency for humanity and the planet, where violence is dominant in different levels and forms: international conflicts, civil wars, terrorism, climate change, massive immigration, hate speech, antisemitism, islamophobia, extinction of cultures and species It seems that our global system is founded on violence and needs a collective critical reflection for radical change. The Center organizes seminars, master programs, workshops, conferences, courses… to create networks and groups of research, from different religions, disciplines, and perspectives, which includes: 1 . Theologians from the Mediterranean region and beyond (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism …), experts in different disciplines of theology: theology of religions, moral theology, political theology, practical theology … believers from different religions: agnostics and people without a religious affiliation; 2 . Philosophers from different fields of philosophy: political philosophy, moral philosophy, philosophy of religion… 3 . Political scientists, political theorists, experts of International relations, sociologists, anthropologists, pedagogists, psychologists…
Main topics Modernity and Democracy Modernity has forced religions to lose, gradually and in different ways, control over the public sphere, despite various attempts of recovery and repositioning. "Fundamentalism" is one of many possible answers to modern challenges. Can we find other answers that guarantee more freedom, justice, and peace in the globalized world? The crisis of religions in the modern world interrogates the concept of religion itself: What is its social and political mission? What does religion offer today in the public sphere? Can we reconcile the secular state with religious values and principles? What does religion offer? Can religion be a positive and constructive element in political life, respecting the secular state as an ethical principle of justice and equality, and above all as a condition for democracy? Nonviolence The relationship between religions and nonviolence knew a landmark moment, i.e. the Gandhian moment, which has radically raised the issue of nonviolence in a new way. We had to wait for the twentieth century to have this kind of awareness. Humankind experienced before nonviolent foretastes, represented in the behavior of individuals and groups that have chosen nonviolence as a principle and a way of life, but modernity made the case urgent. Mahatma Gandhi (d. 1948) himself derived his intellectual and political approach to “peaceful resistance”, Satyagraha , from ancient roots as the Ahimsa principle in Hinduism and Jainism. This new dimension in the twentieth century would not have been without a series of circumstances that prompted the human conscience to reach a moment of awareness and need for a comprehensive nonviolent vision. Today, nonviolence is not only resistance but also building democracy and active civil society, with nonviolent tools and methodologies of changing.