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Italy: Villa Aurora to organize a Master in Religious Liberty

Villa Aurora is an institution of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church.

Italy: Villa Aurora to organize a Master in Religious Liberty


The master’s program will be held in Villa Aurora, the Adventist University in Florence, and will last six months, from April 29 to December 2021 (with summer break). It will see the participation of several Italian and international professors, experts in sociology, social policy, law, geopolitics, and political science.

For several decades, Italy has become increasingly multicultural and with high religious pluralism. Two factors have contributed to this: a substantial flow of migrants—mostly from the Mediterranean and Eastern Europe—and Italy's natural placement in the heart of the European political area that is open to the free trade of goods and skills.

The pluralization of Italian society, the increasingly structural diversification of religious and cultural customs – although with a significant retention of the traditional majority roots of religious Catholicism, if not more often cultural or personal – , the contemporary and, in other ways, increasing presence of openly atheist thoughts and identities; all these impose on public institutions and social actors the necessity to interpret and respond to new needs and requests, the result of different value approaches, sometimes heretofore unknown.

However, multiple indicators tell us that all institutional and social operators have not yet acquired a sufficient level of hermeneutic skills useful to interpret the new (but also ancient) needs and rights that are being claimed in Italy’s society. Not infrequently, in institutional areas such as schools, hospitals or penitentiaries, not to mention at times even qualified ministerial bureaucracies, there are delays, misunderstandings, reluctance in carrying out the cultural sensitive requirements of a heterogeneous and plural user base. All this suggests that not a small part of our educational, health, and ultimately political /administrative system considers our country still substantially monoreligious and monocultural, although surrounded – perhaps even besieged – by a religious dust of indistinct matrix, consistency and importance.

The master’s program aims to offer a valid educational contribution to the group of operators who, more frequently in their role of public utility, need to respond professionally to the consciential, religious and cultural requests that an increasingly heterogeneous user base invokes, especially in the most qualified and delicate areas of existence.

The master's degree is open to all those who have developed a specific sensitivity in the subject of study. However, it is designed primarily to meet vocational training needs for staff employed in public administration (cultural mediators, administrative staff, prison workers), in the education system (teachers, school leaders), and in health and information sectors. Special recipients are also pastors and those who administer the various religious denominations present in Italy.

The course will be held in Italian but, upon request, it will be possible to have simultaneous translation into English or Spanish.

Those who wish to register must apply by March 8, 2021 through the dedicated form on the Villa Aurora website, attaching all the required documents. Candidates will then be contacted to set up an interview. The degree will be activated only if the minimum number of students required is reached.