Religious pluralism: Clash of civilizations or opportunity of encounter? Relational, not hierarchical approach
Zygmunt Bauman and Agostino Porter a
Agostino Portera: Although our common reflection does not only deal with risks and problems but also focuses on the positive aspects and opportunities, I totally agree with you, dear Prof. Bauman: “to enlist people to the cause of justice, you need first to open their eyes to the injustices of the status quo; you need to prompt them to re-classify things seemed to be ‘natural’, ‘unavoidable’ and ‘immutable’ and all too often deemed to be ‘right and proper’, as unjust and utterly avertable and escapable”. Raising awareness among the causes of injustice and “wishing up to the reality” are necessary to revaluate aspects that seem natural, inviolable or immutable, making them completely avoidable and unnecessary. In fact, knowing the dynamic of the issues not only makes people more pessimistic, but - on the contrary - can also represent the beginning of an awareness that allows one to better reflect on the strategies needed to find a solution. Therefore, it could be appropriate to dedicate part of the present book to a better explanation and analysis of some of the “evils” of our times, and of the liquid-modern society which you have described several times. Another part could then contain a further reflection on the possible solutions.
By following the news, 1 think an extremely topical issue is the relationship between different religions. The beginning of 2015 has been characterized by tragic (apparently) religiously-motivated events. On the 8th of January two men armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles entered the offices of the satirical weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, shouting “Allah u akbar” (God is great), and randomly shot at those in the office, killing 12 people and injuring about ten, half of them seriously. The perpetrators, masked and clad in black, spoke fluent French. In the massacre four newspaper cartoonists died: the director Stephan Charbonnier (nicknamed Charb), Jean Cabut (Cabu), Tignous and Georges Wolinski. Coming out of the offices, the two men killed two policemen and drove off in a car. The supposed “crime” of the newspaper and the journalists was that they had published cartoons on religious issues, including a cartoon depicting the prophet Mohammed.
The following day, Amedy Coulibaly, another fundamentalist who was associated with the Charlie Hebdo attackers, barricaded himself with hostages in a Jewish Kosher supermarket in Vincennes, a small city outside Paris. In addition to the attacker, who was killed by police, four hostages died. In a video posted on the Web, the perpetrator of the massacre claimed he was a member of Isis and aimed to commit a massacre in a Jewish kindergarten. ISIS is an acronym that stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (IS1L). It is a jihadist group (soldiers of the “holy war”) operating in Syria and Iraq which uses violence and terror to meet their goals. The current leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, unilaterally announced the rebirth of the caliphate in the territories under his control. The United Nations and several nations have labelled Isis as a terrorist organization.
At the beginning of 2015, on the 10th of January, a ten-year-old girl strapped with explosives blew herself up and killed 20 people and injured about 50 in a market in Maiduguri, the capital of the Nigerian state of Borno. The following day the terrorists targeted a mobile phone market in the city of Potiskum, in the northeast state of Yobe, where two girls of about ten years of age blew themselves up in the crowd. In total three died and about 40 were wounded. The first noted case of a girl suicide bomber was on the 10th of December 2014, when a 13-year-old refused to blow herself up in a market in Kano and later said she had been “recruited” by her father to serve the “caliphate” of Boko Haram. Boko Haram, which in the Hausa language means “Western education is a sin”, is a jihadist terrorist organization spread throughout the north of Nigeria, also known as the “Group of the Sunni People” for religious propaganda and Jihad. This is also in the name of the “Caliphate” that a group of Islamic terrorists wants to impose, through systematic “ethnic-religious cleansing”. In the name of this terroristic organization, Islamic fundamentalist militiamen have also attacked Damaturu, the capital of the neighbouring state of Yobe, over the last months. About five weeks before the presidential and legislative elections in Nigeria, a group of jihadists terrorized the cities and the inhabitants of the northeast of the country, forcing thousands of people to migrate to the borders of Cameroon, Chad and Niger. In some villages of the region of Baga, in the far northeast of Nigeria, on the banks of Lake Chad, for example, a group of Boko Haram
Religious pluralism 33 terrorists shot at everyone they saw for four days, leaving several thousand dead lying on the ground to “punish” the local militias who attempt to defend themselves.
In the following years, Isis and Boko Haram, “the ‘world’s most horrific terrorist group”,1 have been increasing the cooperation and terroristic acts, by sharing “machine guns, tactics, techniques and procedures” in order to conduct complex ambushes, set explosive devices, launch attacks on hotels and wage a bloody insurgency across parts of Africa. Statistics from Unicef show that the number of abused kamikaze children is getting higher every year, and research from BBC shows that Boko Haram provoked in 2017 over 150 attacks (127 attacks in 2016), most of all in Nigeria (109) and Cameroon.2
In his book The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, published in 1996, S. P. Huntington, professor at Harvard University and chairman of the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, states that in the new millennium we need a new model which is able to provide satisfactory explanations to the events that are taking place, as the previous models are no longer able to do so. He thinks3 there are essentially four dominant models in the post-Cold war era: just one world: euphoria and harmony, according to which the end of the Cold war means the end of the major international conflicts and the birth of a harmonious world (a model stressed by F. Fukuyama in his theory on the end of world history); two worlds: w and the others, according to which human beings always tend to split reality into “us and them”, the equal and the different, East and West, your own civilization and other people’s cruelty; 184 Countries, according to which the individual states are the key players, and each of them tries to extend its power; and total chaos, the individual states are constantly being weakened, and they will construct a world dominated by anarchy. Huntington thinks the four models are incompatible, full of limitations and shortcomings. He proposes considering the dominated world starting from the exiting civilizations that are: (a) Sinic civilization, which is of Chinese origin and dates back to 1500 B.C.; (b) Japanese civilization, which emerged between 100 and 400 A.C.; (c) Hindu civilization, which has been in India since 1500 B.C.; (d) Islamic civilization, which originated on the Arabian Peninsula in the 7th century A.C. and has spread to North Africa, the Iberian Peninsula, central Asia, India and Southeast Asia; (e) Western civilization, which dates back to 700 A.C. and has divided into European, North American and Latin-American civilizations; Latin-American civilization, which developed out of Western civilization, and is more corporate and authoritarian and rooted in Catholism, and which includes indigenous cultures; (f) African civilization, which is recognized by few researchers, but has spread to most of the African states, and has been characterized by the effects of religious missions, imperialism and colonization. The author believes4 these cultural differences are strictly connected with the religious specificities that have recently returned to the fore as a reaction to laicism and moral relativism, proposing values such as order, discipline, mutual aid and solidarity. Huntington thinks that even religious fundamentalism, especially Islamic, represents a way to overcome the disorientation and the loss of identity caused by a rapid introduction of Western political and social models (laicism, scientism, economic development). As a result, he identifies the clash of civilizations as the central challenge of the present and the future, defining it as a “serious threat to the world peace’0 in the post-Cold War world. As the management of differences - among which the religious difference is considered of primary importance - between these seven or eight civilizations represents the main challenge, he also urges the major civilizations of the world, especially Europe and United States, to stand together.
1 think Huntington’s reflections help to understand part of the problem but also present some risks. First of all, there seems to be a hazard of human beings being classified according to nationality, thus pointing out our differences or possibly even hierarchically organized civilizations (and once again we come back to the insidious concept of “race”). As it has already been said, cultures are neither homogeneous, nor static, nor confined to continents or nation-states. Human history is based on migration, and the history of civilization has always been characterized by cross-cultural exchange and fertilization (although not always peaceful). Defining the concepts of “good” and “evil” would be just as dangerous nowadays. Fundamentalism does not only exist in the Islamic context. As nowadays, fortunately, many (also religious) sources rightfully stress, an association between Islam and these terroristic acts would be very foolhardy. By reflecting on these events, I think cultural differences, including religious differences, are often used as an alibi to justify acts of violence whose real causes should be sought elsewhere. In the period of brutal terrorist attacks connected with fascism or communism, which involved many European countries in the 1960s and 1970s (Red Brigades or New Order in Italy), no one ever associated these groups of people to a nation-state, a religion, or a political party. Stamping out terrorism was made possible because the majority of citizens, even those with similar political or cultural affiliation, differentiated themselves from the terrorists. Nowadays, even many influential commentators seem to be falling into the trap of simplifying what is in fact a complex process. That is, they disregard
Religious pluralism 35 the reality that individual human beings or small groups can carry out such brutal criminal acts of violence for several reasons, rather than religious or cultural: mental disorders, fanaticism, power struggles, economic interests, conditioning, manipulation, etc.
Nevertheless, dear Zygmunt, I think a reflection with you on the religious issue would be useful, as it currently represents one of the main challenges of our times. If by religion we mean the set of beliefs that constitute an expression of faith and absolute acceptance of the truth, the believer, but also the layman or the atheist, cannot avoid thinking that all other people’s faiths or non-faiths are wrong. Conflict, therefore, seems inevitable.6
The history of the Catholic Church, for example, has been characterized by violent phenomena for ages. Just think of the periods of Crusades, defined as “holy wars” against non-believers, the Inquisition when brutal torture was used, or the Witch Hunts when women denounced as witches were burned at the stake. After the last World War, the Protestant Christian churches proposed a meeting with the advocate of the other Christian religions (in Amsterdam, 1948). The outcome was quite negative, because of the disagreement between the faiths taking part, as well because of the official absence of the Catholic Church. A decisive change in the attitude of the Catholic Church towards the other traditions of Christianity did not happen until after the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council in the Sixties, when, at the suggestion of Pope John XXIII, the church decided to shift its attitude and started to stress the common elements of Christianity rather than the differences. Emphasis was placed on the importance of mutual knowledge as a chance for understanding, overcoming disagreements, and for cooperation based upon fundamental and shared values. Since the Second Vatican Council, Christian unity,7 common beliefs among Christians and Jews,8 understanding between Christians and Muslims,9 as well as cooperation between believers and non-believers10 have been fostered. These policies have been furthered by subsequent Popes, among whom Pope Francis is a great example of openness and willingness. The developments relating to the fostering of interreligious encounter and dialogue also concern nowadays other monotheistic religions, such as Buddhism, Islam and Judaism.
Due to recent breakthroughs in physics,11 the concepts of space and time proposed by Newton and introduced by Kant in his philosophy can now be unequivocally disproven (time differences between different parts of the world have been measured). Moreover, new theories about shifts in the laws of physics over time and their constant evolution, which is similar to Darwinian evolution, have challenged the long-standing position of theoretical physics on quantum gravity. Just as the universe is conceived in relational terms (all elements develop and grow interactively) from different perspectives - such as Smolin’s secular and scientific perspective, as well as Rovelli’s12 and Molari’s13 perspectives - all religions as well as atheists must now adopt a relational approach focused on dialogue and mutually beneficial encounter. Such an approach should not consider difference and pluralism as an obstacle or a limitation to overcome or combat (such as with terrorist attacks), but as an inevitable reality which constitutes an opportunity for growth and common enrichment.
Of course, some of these ideas can also be found in your recent book, Conversations About God and Man,'4 written with the theologian and teacher at Warsaw, Stanislaw Obirek, as well as in the central thesis of your lectio magistralis held at the tenth edition of Turin Spirituality, in September 2014, whose topic was the challenge of the “Smart Heart".'5 In these contexts, by reflecting on the quest for harmony between mind and spirit, you presented your reflections on God and Man and on the eternal quest for truth and you affirmed that there is no way to prove God's existence, “but our human existence results in the impossibility to reach that knowledge and in the necessity of living without it, also conscious of its absence”. Moreover you state that human life is “on a wire”, and morality is not the recipe for an easy life: “Forcing men to choose, they are exposed to the biggest temptation. God invited them to join him in the ongoing act of caring for creation”.
At this stage, with respect to the clash of different religions, ethics and morals, 1 would like to know your opinion on the development of authoritarian and violent swerves as those mentioned above. Are there really religious differences or perhaps are we facing power struggles and violent attempts to manipulate and oppress other human beings? Apart from this, could you please clarify your position regarding religious pluralism and the chance for peaceful coexistence? The analysis of how to tackle these phenomena of violence would be interesting and compelling as well. Personally speaking, 1 think responding to violence with violence has never managed to resolve conflicts over the long term. The present situation requires establishing a relational and dialogue-based approach and not a hierarchical approach between the different opinions and points of view (obviously, the way anyone expresses his/her point of view must be kept within certain limits); perhaps, as it has been proposed, one solution would be setting up a kind of United Nations for religions, with arbiters who ensure that all parties play the game according to the standards of fair play.
Zygmunt Bauman: The great playwright and story-teller Antony Chekhov, known for his mastery of fishing crystal-clear logic out of the muddled waters of life’s illogicality, appraised his fellow truth-seekers that if a gun is hanged on the wall in the first scene of a play, it must be fired in the third at the latest. By bringing that logic into view, Chekhov put his finger on one of the two major reasons for the spectacular incidents of violence to occupy ever more expanding space among realities and in the prevailing imagery of the present-day world. Courtesy of the cutting-edge while profits-greedy arms industry, whole-heartedly supported by high-GNP-figures politicians while evading their half-hearted attempts of controlling its order-books, guns hung on walls are nowadays aplenty, as never before, in the first scenes of most avidly played games. Even without Chekhov’s wisdom we would be aware (and not allowed to forget) of living on a minefield saturated with explosives. And of minefields, we know that they are saturated with explosives, and so explosions are all but inevitable to occur; what we don't know is where and when.
The second logic contributing to the present-day explosion of violence derives from the meeting of their spectacularity with the cutting-edge, ratings-greedy and selling figures greedy media industry. Pictures and stories of violence are among the most sellable offers of that industry -the more cruel, gory and blood-curdling the better. No wonder that media-managers love serving them as the coffee shop managers vie to advertise the coffee they serve: as fresh and hot. For the price of a gun whoever wishes to make himself visible world-wide can count, without miss, on impassioned and heartfelt cooperation of multi-billion-worth media; instantly and with no further effort one can lift even a relatively tiny and woefully local incident to the rank of a globally momentous, state-of-the-art, world-shattering event. Its echoes will reverberate for a long time to come; who knows, perhaps even change the course of history! Say what you will, this is an un-missable opportunity, a temptation which a budding terrorist worth his salt (as well as downtrodden and dejected, demeaned and humiliated youngsters drafted to the terrorist cause by their cunning and seasoned recruiters) is utterly unlikely to overlook. Seekers of fame may rest assured that this society of ours, notorious for its inhospitality to nice and decent people, is unprecedentedly hospitable to the heirs of Herostratus.
The two logics sketched briefly above are not, obviously, the causes of the phenomenon you wish us to consider. Neither form they, singly or together, its sufficient condition. But they constitute, when combined, its necessary condition. Without them being both present and acting in tandem, the outburst of violence in its present shape and form would’ve been all but inconceivable.
And so we have arrived, dear Agostino, to a point of contention between us, while attempting in unison to understand the same bizarre departure we currently witness: a departure that contravenes (some would go as far as saying: disproves) the high hopes of les philosophes who two to three centuries ago put their wager on the universalizing capacity of Reason and Enlightenment: those, as they believed (wrongly, as it now seems), twin vehicles of the civilizing process. I suspect in your presentation of “religious fundamentalism” and (after Huntington) “war of civilizations" the fallacy of taking form for the substance, wrappings for contents, effects for causes - all in all, an interpretation for its object. I strongly believe that the current rise in the volume and reach of violence needs be seen against the background of the massive production of human misery: humiliation, denial of life prospects together with human dignity - and their only-to-be-expected outcome: seething lust for vengeance. Terrorism, of which we need to expect more yet to come, however eagerly the governments flex their muscle to tame it and subdue, is - we might say - the weapon of the disarmed, a power of the disempowered. And it will remain such - as long as the agony and grief of having been excluded, or of living one’s life under the threat of exclusion, will go on rising unabated as they presently are. With this challenge to human dignity (and in a rising scale to the very survival) persisting, it would be naive to the core to suppose that the seekers of conscripts to the suicide bombing will return from their recruiting hassle empty-handed, under whatever banner they propose the prospective suicide bombers to rally.
It was Pope Francis who recently, the sole among the public figures in global limelight, reached to the roots of our present predicament (in his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium), reminding us that:
it is a matter of hearing the cry of entire peoples, the poorest peoples of the earth, since “peace is founded not only on respect for human rights, but also on respect for the rights of peoples”. Sadly, even human rights can be used as a justification for an inordinate defense of individual rights or the rights of the richer peoples. With due respect for the autonomy and culture of every nation, we must never forget that the planet belongs to all mankind and is meant for all mankind; the mere fact that some people are born in places with fewer resources or less development does not justify the fact that they are living with less dignity. It must be reiterated that “the more fortunate should renounce some of their rights so as to place their goods more generously at the service of others”. To speak properly of our own rights, we need to broaden our perspective and to hear the plea of other peoples and other regions than those of our own country. We need to grow in a solidarity which “would allow all peoples to become the artisans of their destiny”, since “every person is called to self-fulfilment”.
He also pointed to the way - by no means easy, yet the only promising one - leading out of the evil and menacing condition in which we’ve cast ourselves by plugging our ears to that “cry of entire peoples”:
The need to resolve the structural causes of poverty cannot be delayed, not only for the pragmatic reason of its urgency for the good order of society, but because society needs to be cured of a sickness which is weakening and frustrating it, and which can only lead to new crises. Welfare projects, which meet certain urgent needs, should be considered merely temporary responses. As long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world’s problems or, for that matter, to any problems. Inequality is the root of social ills.
We can no longer trust in the unseen forces and the invisible hand of the market. Growth in justice requires more than economic growth, while presupposing such growth: it requires decisions, programmes, mechanisms and processes specifically geared to a better distribution of income, the creation of sources of employment and an integral promotion of the poor which goes beyond a simple welfare mentality. I am far from proposing an irresponsible populism, but the economy can no longer turn to remedies that are a new poison, such as attempting to increase profits by reducing the work force and thereby adding to the ranks of the excluded.
Shifting the blame for the society that rejects, and for all practical intents and purposes makes null and void the human - all too human -impulse of “mutual aid and solidarity” onto “laicism and moral relativism” is but a stratagem deployed by unscrupulous demagogues, whether of religious or any other denomination, away from its genuine causes so vividly and lucidly described by Pope Francis. The sufferings of the demeaned, degraded, deprived and excluded victims could be “extra-systemic”: they might be strikingly similar regardless of the specificity of the particular “order”, and the “discipline” it demands, by which they have been caused. The trick is how to use, fraudulently, the capital of human wrath and vengefulness stored by the wrongs committed by one “system” onto another in the on-going inter-systemic strife. The borders have been already pre-drawn by the apostles, priests and preachers of the antagonistic monotheisms, and as the great Norwegian anthropologist Fredrik Barth teaches, once the borders have been drawn the difference justifying drawing them are eagerly sought and found or invented. “Their” (people on the other side of the border) “laicism and moral relativism”, all but innocent of causing our rebellion-prompting misery, are one of such “differences” conveniently charged with responsibility for the anguish and presented as the main (perhaps even the sole) obstacle to the restoration of justice as well as of “mutual aid and solidarity”.
1 fully agree with you that “the believer, but also the layman or the atheist, cannot avoid thinking that all other people’s faiths or nonfaiths are wrong. Conflict, therefore, seems inevitable”. Religious variety of fundamentalism plays an extraordinarily prominent role in framing the stage on which the game of conflicts is played - under conditions of coexistence of monotheism entrenched since the 1648 Westphalian settlement (“cuius regio eius religio”, with the “natio” substituted two centuries later for “religio”) in their respective state borders (and states, according Max Weber’s memorable definition, remaining in theory and ambition, though no longer in practice, formations claiming monopoly on the means of coercion).
There is a paradox endemic to a monotheist creed: it insists that God of its choice is one and only - though by the very fact of persistently reiterating that assertion it obliquely admits the presence of that God's contenders. Because of that paradox, monotheistic religion cannot but be constantly ready for the fray; bristling with bayonets, combative and belligerent in confrontation with alternative (false, as it is bound to aver) pretenders to God's status. Monotheistic faith is by its nature militant and in a state of a permanent enmity and intermittent war - hot or cold -with the world outside its realm; it is viewed for that reason as a particularly tempting, indeed favourite, choice for warriors of great variety of causes - especially the most intransigent and ruthless among them. After all, all stops can be pulled out in a fight waged by the devoted to the Church in the name of one and only God against His enemies. Once you know that in hoc signo vinces - you can, and you will, catch as you catch can. The popular, though questionable quote from Dostoievsky suggests that “if God does not exist, everything is permitted”. Closer to the facts of life, though alas yet more portending, is to conclude that if there is one and only God, everything done in His name to His detractors, however cruel, goes”. No doubt equals no scruples.
The principle of “cuius regio eius religio” binds no longer our globalized and diasporized world. There are streets in densely populated London
Religious pluralism 41 where Catholic and protestant Churches, Sunnite and Shiite mosques as well as orthodox and reform synagogues are erected just a few dozen yards from each other. Men and women of different faiths - heathens, heretics, dissenters or whatever other derogatory, stigmatizing or condemnatory names might be used to brand them - are no longer distant and misty creatures in seldom- or never-visited foreign lands, but next-door neighbours, work-mates, fathers and mothers of our children's school friends; at any rate, the daily, all-too-frequent sights at the crowded city streets and squares. Mutual separation is no longer on the cards, however passionately we might try. Monotheistic gods are doomed to live in close proximity of each other on our incurably polytheistic planet; indeed, in each other’s company. Huntington’s vision of the war of civilization waged in the planetary space does not descend to the urban level; at that level, as 1 tried repeatedly to show, mixophilia fights for the better with mixophobia. Willy-nilly, knowingly or not, by design or by default, ways and means of living daily in peace, even in collaboration with difference, are invented, experimented with, put to a test and adopted.
- 1 Independent, April 21, 2016.
- 2 ICIR International Center for Investigative Reporting. "The Figures that Show Boko Haram Was Stronger in 2017 than in 2016.” Accessed January 25, 2018. https://www.icirnigeria.org/the-figures-that-show-boko-haram-was-st ronger-in-2017-than-in-2016/
- 3 Ibid., pp. 28-42.
- 4 Ibid., pp. 135-136.
- 5 Ibid., p. 479.
- 6 Cfr. A. Portera, "The Religious Education in a Pluralistic and Multicultural Society”, in Self-investigation and Transcendence: Psychological Approaches to the Religious Identity in a Pluralistic Society, eds. M. Aletti and G. Rossi (Turin: Centro Scientifico Editore, 1999), pp. 317-324.
- 7 "The ecumenical movement includes the activities and the initiatives that, according to the different necessities of the church and the current opportunities, have been created and intended in order to promote Christian unity. First of all, all the efforts to eliminate words, judgments and works that do not reflect in a fair and true way the conditions of separated brothers and therefore make the mutual relationships with them more difficult; then the dialogue between properly prepared experts in the meetings that take place between Christians of the different churches and communities with religious purposes, where everyone explains the doctrine of his/her own community and clearly presents its characteristics” (Unitatis red integral io. November 21, 1964).
- 8 “As the spiritual heritage common to Christians and Jews is so big, this holy and sacred Synod wants to foster and recommend a mutual knowledge and respect that can be gained especially with biblical and theological studies and with a fraternal dialogue” (Nostra aetate. November 28, 1965).
- 9 c) "And although, throughout the centuries, several disagreements and enmities have emerged between Christians and Muslims, the holy and sacred Synod urges you all to forget the past and sincerely practice the mutual understanding, as well as to defend and promote together, for all human beings, social justice, moral values, peace and freedom” (Ibid.).
- 10 “Moreover, although the church totally opposes atheism, it sincerely recognizes that all men, believers and non-believers, must contribute to the building of the world in which they all live: this, of course, can’t be achieved without a sincere and cautious dialogue. Moreover, the church deplores the discrimination between believers and non-believers that some civil authorities unfairly introduce, as they don't want to recognize people’s fundamental rights” (Gaudium el spes, December 7, 1965).
- 11 L. Smolin. Time Reborn (Turin: Einaudi, 2014).
- 12 C. Rovelli, La realtá non é ció che appare (Reality is Not What it Seems) (Milan: Raffaello Cortina, 2014).
- 13 C. Molari, Teología del pluralismo religioso (Theology of Religious Pluralism) (Rome: Pazzini, 2012).
- 14 Zygmunt Bauman, Conversazioni su Dio e sull’uomo (Roma-Bari: Laterza, 20 14).
- 15 L. Tortello, "Bauman Talks of God but Doesn’t Know if it Exists,” La Stampa. September 24, 2014.