Author(s) Hugo Alexandre Espínola Mangueira
Advisor(s) Pedro Carlos da Silva Bacelar de Vasconcelos and Giuseppe Tosi
Year 2014

Synopsis The democratic state of right supports itself in the guarantee of human person’s dignity, which is the guiding principle of contemporary constitutions. Within a democratic context the starting premise is that the citizen has sufficient conditions to develop his individuality without impositions, therefore translating itself in a mature and lucid exercise in the personal, social and political dimensions. Such exercise assumes, as its own condition of possibility, the existence of a space of consciential autonomy that will grant the citizen the capacity to construct an identity without impositions, being it religious or non-religious. This space of consciential autonomy is guaranteed by respecting the principle of laicism and by affirming freedom of conscience. The interaction state-citizen-society acquires an outstanding importance in promoting a healthy culture of liberty, founded on political participation, duties’ fulfillment, recognition of individual rights and multicultural dialogue. Under this light our task is multiple. To start with, we must understand what can and what should be done in order to qualitatively improve this mechanism of social harmonization. As such, we propose to investigate the birth and development of tolerance in Europe, dimensioning its different conceptualizations and supporting ourselves in an analytical study about laicism in Brazil throughout its history. Thus, from this analysis we will: a) propose the concept of consciential tolerance, grounded on the respect of freedom of conscience, autonomy and critical dialogue; b) underline the importance of respecting laicism as a foundation of democratic state of Right; c) determine contents and methodological matrixes (emphasizing education on human rights and absence of religious references at school) capable of promoting children’s and young people’s knowledge about history of religions, religious intolerance, critical openness of mind, construction of a positive dialogue and creation of fraternal bounds based on empathy; d) aside form other attitudes that can stimulate the integration of our concept of tolerance as ‘harmony in difference’, as exposed in the Declaration of Principles on Tolerance, approved by UNESCO in 1995.

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