This week, I participated in the Ecole Thématique Politique, Laicité, Religion (POLARE), organized by the University of Bordeaux (Sciences Po and Centre Emile Durkheim), the CNRS, ans the French School in Rome. This institutions also hosted the event, in the outstanding framework of Piazza Navona, just in front of the Tritone fountain.
The programme of the school was not less interesting, with a 360 degrees reflection on the relation between religion, politics and secularism in the Mediterranean, and the participation of some of the most significant names of the francophone social sciences: Valerie Amiraux, Olivier Roy, Xabier Itçaina, Philippe Portier, Yves Deloye. All assembled together by a perfect organization led by Magali Della Sudda, researcher in Bordeaux.
It was a very interesting but challenging experience (not only for the mental effort to translate from Italian to English to French and reverse!) considering the approach to social sciences of most French scholars, who privilege historical-sociological reflection where the Anglo-Saxon academic community (to which I’m more acquainted) mainly prefers an empirical approach. It is a pity that these two worlds don’t communicate more deeply and frequently, because in their complementarity we could find very interesting resources. Surely, to me the experience was very rewarding.