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Faouzia Charfi, Anne Morelli, Thérèse Hargot
Faouzia Charfi, Anne Morelli, Thérèse Hargot / Odile Jacob, Anne Morelli, Thérèse Hargot

Body and religion, the big challenges

Debate in French with Faouzia Charfi, Anne Morelli and Thérèse Hargot

The body is fertile ground for religion, the locus of religious practice. Religiosity is expressed through the observance of ceremony and dietary customs, through clothing that covers the body and suffering inflicted upon it – sacrifice, even. Religion gives meaning to bodily pain, often believed to be punishment or the path to redemption. The body is therefore central to all religions and spiritualities.


Faouzia Charfi's commitment runs through her entire career. With a doctoral degree in physics, she combats the downfall of education in Tunisia, where 'the miracle of the Koran' reigns. The former Secretary of State for Higher Education continues her fight for a modern education, confronting the Islamitic ideology. In her work, for which she has won several awards, she questions the tense relationship between science and religion.


Belgian historian Anne Morelli is professor emeritus at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and former head of the Centre for Religion and Secularism. She is specialized in historical criticism, religious history and minority studies. A great deal of her work focuses on Italian migration.


Belgian philosopher and sexologist Thérèse Hargot is a specialist in gender studies. She focuses on power dynamics surrounding the female body and reproduction. She works as a consultant in France, working with emotional, familial and sexual traumas. On her blog, ‘Chroniques philosophiques d’une sexuologue,’ she addresses themes like contraception, sexual desire and neo-feminism.

Flagey, Le Soir, RTBF, ULB, VUB