Paolo Costa


Senior Researcher, Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Trento

Visiting Fellow
(June – July 2017)


The Post-Secular City: Religious Pluralism, Global Consumerism, and the Future of Democracy

My project focuses on contemporary developments (Islamic revival, economic globalization, populism) that are having a direct or indirect impact on the future of democracy. Many people are concerned about the way in which democracy seems to be declining today. There are, however, also opposite signals in various areas of the globe, where we are experiencing a sort of democratic awakening. These phenomena, though, are not easy to decipher and require a careful investigation of the extra-political sources of legitimacy and the enabling conditions of a viable democracy. The research starts from the Italian case and seeks to identify some common elements in today’s international scenario.


Previous stays at the IWM:
May – July 2015, Visiting Fellow
May – June 2013, Visiting Fellow

Former Project:
The Secular Age and the Axial Age.Continuities and Discontinuities

My project focuses on the deeper historical-cultural meanings of the secularization process and the need to re-define our understanding of religious experiences. The project combines a phenomenological/hermeneutical stance toward religion with a larger evolutionary-developmental take. Different religions are seen as specific cultural-historical products and significant manifestation of the evolutionarily shaped human mind and nature. In this sense, the judgment on the anthropological significance of religion cannot be separated from an in-depth study of particular historical trajectories. My focus will be on some strands of contemporary spirituality that seem to go against the grain of the Axial Turn.


La città post-secolare. Il nuovo dibattito sulla secolarizzazione

In breve Il tema con cui questo libro si misura è il passato prossimo della teoria della secolarizzazione. Ha quindi a che fare con il destino della religione, e pure della laicità, oggi. L’Autore intende offrire un ritratto affidabile dell’evoluzione recente di un dibattito cruciale, tornato al centro della discussione pubblica, in modo da fornire …
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