chapter  7
17 Pages

Local governance of religious diversity in Southern Europe

The role of interreligious actors
WithMar Griera, Maria Chiara Giorda, Valeria Fabretti

All over Europe local governments are fostering institutional collaboration with local interreligious groups and are encouraging interreligious initiatives. This chapter focuses on the cases of Barcelona and Turin. Both cities are pioneering new forms of governance of religious diversity in Southern Europe, while also being a source of inspiration for other cities. We trace the genealogy of the institutional collaboration between interreligious actors and local governments, and develop a typology to examine how interreligious groups intervene in both cities’ public sphere. The chapter shows the crucial role of Catholic intellectuals and also of the celebration of the Olympic Games in fostering local dynamics of cooperation between municipalities and religious actors. The chapter concludes by arguing that the increasing professionalisation, institutionalisation and securitarisation of the interreligious domain in both cities has transformed the active involvement of interreligious groups in local governance into a process of domestication of religious diversity.