A house of religions

The religions have always lived on the territories, coexisted, collided and traced borders on proptions of space, smaller or bigger: one might say that from the global scale to a room’s micro-scale, innumerable examples of religious pluralism exist.

The house of religions is a study on the path to the creation of an interfaith space, it is a model of interaction between religious models. The objective of the research is to detach from the concenpt of white room, void of symbols, and to try instead a way to make different religions coexist in the same space.

Homers, together with Benvenuti in Italia, has then identified some alternative typologies of sharing prayer space that do not remove the conflictuality brought by symbols and practices, but proposes a mediation through the enunciation of space.

Among these, the most evident, and perhaps the most neglected, is the city itself. In Turin, in San Salvario, for example, among the new citizens appear in the first years of the new millennium tens of thousands of migrants. Here people pray everywhere, in churches, garages and gyms; structured churches and temporary forms of aggregation are mixed with life practices and well-being philosophies. However, for Turin, the same as for other cities in Italy, clear qualitative and quantitative data on religious diversity are lacking under a numeric point of view, but reconstructed from estimates, starting by the presence of migrants.

In this iridescent and multifaceted context, the project of mapping of places of worship, started in 2011 and not yet finished, allowed to study the presence of religions on the territory, in terms of recognition, visibility, social and cultural integration, inclusion/exclusion both from within (the religious communities) and from without (the public institutions and the citizens.) At the same time, the city has long launched practices and projects that recognise religious pluralism as an element of dialogue, mutual recognition, respect and relationship between the different religious communities existing in the city, and they have contributed to institutionalising many such places.

On this terrain, a multi-religious space that – as much as the city itself – implements symbols and perhaps conflicts, seems possible, but it cannot substitute the full expression of every religious form in the public space.


Study elaborated by:
Homers and Benvenuti in Italia

Compagnia di San Paolo

in collaboration with the Interfaith Committee of the city of Turin