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The Goal of the project is twofold:

  • To increase knowledge of the ways in which different religious and ethical secular values (characterising a heterogeneous cultural heritage) influence the political views held by citizens, and their attitude towards the law and civil institutions;

  • (ii) To explore the possible scope for a shared European ethos, building on a plurality of religious and secular ethical values, as a basis (and pre-condition) for political integration.

The pursuit of this goal aims to produce a better understanding of the impact of plural values and religions in societies across Europe, and of their role in relation to changes in society, as required by the objectives of the FP6 (activity 7.2.1 – “Values and Religions in Europe”). To this purpose, attention will be paid both to the historical reconstruction of the plural cultural heritage of a Candidate and some EU Member States, and to the comparative analysis of the recent history of those states as to the way in which religious and ethical issues have been addressed at a political level. Moreover, this study will provide the basis for an investigation into the possibility to identify the scope for a shared European ethos, including a variety of views and values. The researchers involved will combine their different areas of expertise (including jurisprudence, political philosophy and theory, applied ethics, international relations and social psychology) to provide a nuanced outlook on the issue.

More specifically, in order to achieve the Goal, the project aims to realise the following objectives:

Objective 1 :
(months 1 to 5) to develop and organise knowledge on the array of cases in which a plurality of religious and ethical secular values play a role in the definition of the politically relevant claims put forward by different citizens.

Objective 2:
(months 5 to 11) to increase in-depth knowledge and historical awareness of the relationship between a plurality of religious and ethical secular values and the political stances presented by different citizens.

Objective 3:
(months 11 to 17) to increase knowledge concerning the influence of a heterogeneous cultural heritage – including a plurality of religious and secular ethical values – on the political views of citizens who are members of the enlarged (and enlarging) Europe.

Objective 4:
(months 17 to 24) to conduct a knowledge-based study of the scope and features of a EU shared ethos, as a precondition for a political integration that goes beyond the mere joint promotion and safeguard of economic interests.