At the start of the twenty-first century, Catholicism is still the prevailing belief system of most Italians but a project on Italian religion and spirituality, carried out in 2007, has found that Italians are becoming more interested in the matter of spirituality. In this article I analyse the main findings of the Italian Religion and Spirituality Project in the light of how spirituality is conceived in Italy; or what meanings the term spirituality assumes in a prevalently Catholic country. In what social circles does alternative spirituality show itself? What is the relationship between spirituality and Catholicism? What inferences may we draw with regard to the future of Catholicism? In order to answer these questions I try to make a contribution to that spirituality which – although in Italy is just being born – on the international level is now walking and talking. After providing an overview of the growing interest in spirituality in the Italian socio-cultural setting, various aspects are illustrated: Italians’ self-assessments of religiosity and spirituality; meanings of spirituality; involvement in church and/or in holistic activities; and various attitudinal variables, such as preference, beliefs and identification.
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