Handling Religious Diversity: The Case of "Holy/Rest Days" in Italy
The accommodation of a plurality of values within the same institutional framework is one of the main challenges with which contemporary democracies have been persistently confronted. This challenge has recently gained strength even in such traditionally homogeneous countries as Italy, as a consequence of an increase in the number of residents committed to diverse religious beliefs. Against this backdrop, this paper focuses on the case of requests for the legal recognition of religion-specific holy/rest days in Italy. The analysis of such a case will disclose—or so we believe—some valuable pointers as to how democratic societies could try to accommodate religious diversity in a way that is both respectful of the specificities of each religious group and compatible with the typically liberal commitment to the safeguard of individual freedom.
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