Newsletter > 08/01/2014 Saturday 31 October 2020

From Constantine in the Vatican II: Histories of religious freedom
Meeting promoted by the IFS, January 8, 2014; Prof. Riccardo Burigana

Place: Pua Roma
PUA The second gathering of the cycle of conferences hosted by the Cathedra of Spirituality and Interreligious Dialogue, organized by the Franciscan Institute of Spirituality (IFS) of the Pontifical University Antonianum took place last January 8, 2014. , This year the topic was Religious Freedom in Question: Anthropology, History, Law, and Cinema. Nearly a hundred of people were in attendence. The gathering was introduced by Prof. Paolo Martinelli, Director of the Institute, and moderated by the Prof. Luca Bianchi. In the course of the gathering, Prof. Riccardo Burigana, Director of the Center of Studies on the ecumenism in Italy and professor of History of the Church in the Institute of Ecumenical Studies S. Bernardino of Venice, presented a lecture on the topic From Constantine to Vatican II: Histories of Religious Freedom. In his presentation, Prof. Burigana helped us traverse synthetically twenty centuries of Church History in seven stages, (Constantinian era and its tradition; the Middle Ages; the century of religious freedom: XVI century; the freedom of not believing; XIX century: colonialism and nationalism; XX century: religious freedom as law; the Vatican II Council) demonstrating how often the right to religious freedom has been unfulfilled or actually abused. After the Edict of Milan, which granted the freedom of professing your preferred religion to Christianity, and all other religions of the empire, many Church folk forgot the topic of religious freedom, until its solemn re-statement on the part of the Church in the declaration Dignitatis Humanae of the council Vatican II.
This document affirms “that the human person has a right to religious freedom. This freedom means that all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any human power, in such wise that no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits.” (Dignitatis humanae 2)
The presentation ended with a time of questions and answers giving the professor time to clarify his thoughts and position.
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