Global Catholicism and Religious Pluralism, 16 May 2024

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The round table will present the preliminary research of the working group on Catholicism and Pluralism as a component of the comparative project on the theologies and practices of religious pluralism within the Abrahamic traditions. Since Vatican II, the Catholic Church has opened itself to a sincere dialogue with other religious traditions in the universal search for truth and for the common good. The historical encounter between Pope Francis and Sheikh Imam Al-Tayeb lies at the heart of an aspirational pluralism, which the Catholic Church has embraced as one of its key drivers. In this context, the Catholic Church’s role as a vector for pluralistic discourse is more crucial than ever in the current global landscape threatened by instability and the instrumentalization of faith to promote division. The round table will discuss how the V-Theo project will showcase the Catholic Church’s positioning in a global context and how interfaith and intrafaith discourse are central to the Catholic mission.



Giancarlo Bosetti, Executive Chair, Reset DOC

Jocelyne Césari, Chair of Religion and Politics at the University of Birmingham and Senior Fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, Georgetown University

José Casanova, Emeritus, Sociology and Theology, Berkley Center for Religion, Peace,  and World Affairs, Georgetown University

Peter Phan, Ignacio Ellacuria Chair of Catholic Social Thought, Georgetown University

Kristina Stöckl, Full Professor of Sociology at LUISS Guido Carli University

Alessandra Trotta, Moderator of the Waldensian Board


Moderator: Debora Tonelli, Georgetown University Representative in Rome, Villa Malta


⇒ In person: Register here to attend the event ⇐

⇒ Online: Register here to follow the event on Zoom ⇐

Event begins at 16:30 Rome time 

Address: Via di Porta Pinciana 1, 00187, Rome


Speakers’ Bio:

Giancarlo Bosetti is the Executive Chair and one of the founders of Reset DOC and Reset, a cultural magazine he founded in 1993 with Nina zu Fürstenberg. He was deputy-editor of the Italian daily L’Unità and later columnist for the Italian daily La Repubblica. He is the editor-in-chief of the web-magazine of He has been adjunct professor of Sociology of Communication at University of Rome La Sapienza and University Roma Tre. He published The lesson of this century (Routledge, 2000), a book-interview with Karl Popper; Cattiva maestra televisione (transl. in French, La télévision: un danger pour la démocratie, Anatolia, 1995, and in many other languages). Among his books: Spin. Trucchi e Tele-imbrogli della Politica, Marsilio, 2007; Il fallimento dei laici furiosi (2009); La verità degli altri. La scoperta del pluralismo in dieci storie, Bollati Boringhieri, 2020 (transl. in English, The Truth of Others, The Discovery of Pluralism in Ten Tales, Springer 2023). His latest book with Giuliano Amato and Vincenzo Paglia is Il sogno di Cusano. Dialoghi post-secolari e la politica inaridita di oggi, Baldini + Castoldi, 2024. 

José Casanova is Professor Emeritus at Georgetown University, where he previously taught in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Berkley Center, where his work focuses on globalization, religions, and secularization, and a member of the advisory board of Reset DOC. He has published works on a broad range of subjects, including religion and globalization, migration and religious pluralism, transnational religions, and sociological theory. His best-known work, Public Religions in the Modern World (1994), has become a modern classic in the field and has been translated into several languages, including Japanese, Arabic, and Turkish. In 2012, Casanova was awarded the Theology Prize from the Salzburger Hochschulwochen in recognition of his life-long achievement in the field of theology.

Peter C. Phan, who has earned three doctorates, is the inaugural holder of the Ignacio Ellacuría Chair of Catholic Social Thought at Georgetown University, USA. His research deals with the theology of the icon in Orthodox theology, patristic theology, eschatology, the history of Christian missions in Asia, liberation, inculturation, and interreligious dialogue. He is the author and editor of over 40 books and has published over 300 essays. His writings have been translated into Arabic, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Serbian, Spanish, Chinese, Indonesian, Japanese, and Vietnamese, and have received many awards from learned societies. He is the first non-Anglo to be elected President of the Catholic Theological Society of America and President of the American Theological Society. In 2010 he received the John Courtney Murray Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Catholic Theological Society of America for outstanding achievement in theology. He has also been awarded four honorary doctorates.

Kristina Stoeckl is Full Professor of sociology at LUISS (Rome). From 2015 until 2023 she worked at the University of Innsbruck (Austria), since 2019 as Full Professor of sociology. She holds a PhD in Social and Political Sciences from the European University Institute in Florence. Her research areas are sociology of religion, political sociology, and political theory, with a focus on politics and religion, on state-religion relations in Russia, norm and anti-gender mobilizations, and transnational religious actors. She has published The Russian Orthodox Church and Human Rights (2014) and (together with Dmitry Uzlaner) Moralist International. Russia in the Global Culture Wars (2022) as well as numerous journal articles in Religion, State and Society, Global Networks, Journal of Contemporary Religion and others.

Debora Tonelli is Georgetown University Representative in Rome and Research Fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs at the same University. She is also Permanent Researcher at FBK-ISR and Invited Lecturer in Political Philosophy and Politics and Religion at Pontifical Athenaeum S. Anselmo and in Religion, Violence and Religious Freedom at Gregoriana University (Rome). Moving from her background in Political Philosophy (PhD 2005, in Rome and Frankfurt/M, Germany) and Theology (Ph.D. 2012, Münster, Germany), her current research and teaching activities are focused on the interaction between those two main fields, specifically inside the wider context of interreligious dialogue, with a key focus on the relationship between violence and biblical religions. Since 2013 she is coordinating an interdisciplinary research project on “Religions and Violence“ in collaboration with Italian and foreign scholars, organizing workshops, seminars and scientific publications. The influence of literary images in the construction process of “religious imagery” supporting a violent conception of divinity and justifying violence in the name of God, is part of those fundamental political studies. Among her publications: Exiting Violence: The Role of Religion, De Gruyter 2024 (co-edited with Gerard Mannion); (edited) Fra kósmos e pólis: identità e cittadinanza da una prospettiva Mediterranea, Jouvence, Milan 2023; (edited) Fratelli tutti? Credenti e non credenti in dialogo con Papa Francesco, Castelvecchi, Roma 2022.

Alessandra Trotta is the new moderator of the Waldensian Board, the body that officially represents the Methodist and Waldensian churches in their relations with the State and ecumenical organizations. The Board is composed of seven people, including pastors and laypeople, with an annual renewable appointment for a maximum of seven years. The first Methodist to hold this position, Alessandra Trotta was consecrated to the diaconal ministry in 2003. Fifty-one years old, she graduated in Law in Palermo and practiced as a civil lawyer until 2001. She directed the Diaconal Center La Noce from 2002 to 2010. President of the Opera for Methodist Evangelical Churches in Italy (OPCEMI) from 2009 to 2016, she subsequently served in the diaconal ministry for Methodist and Waldensian churches of the XIII Circuit (Campania). A member of the Waldensian Board since 2018, among other ecclesiastical positions held are superintendent of the XVI Circuit (Sicily), Synod president, member of the Discipline Commission, member of the executive committee of the European Methodist Council (EMC), head of the Legal Affairs Office of the Waldensian Board, and coordinator of the working group for the protection of minors.




Cover photo: Aldo Loya (Unsplash).

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