Scientific Committee

For the establishment of the Scientific Committee, the Association co-opts national and international experts who have a social and cultural high profile. The function of the Scientific Committee is that of a consultative body for the Executive Council. (art. 11.7 statute)

Francesco Alicino

He is Full Professor in Public Law and Religion at the University of LUM (Casamassima, Bari, Italy), Where he also teaches Constitutional Law, Law of the Third Sector, and Immigration Law.

He is Vice Rector (Prorettore) for teachings activities, the Coordinator of the five-years Degree Course in Law (LGM /01) and the Director of the School of Law at the University of LUM.

He is a member of the Italian Council for the relationship with Muslim communities at the Italian Minister of the Interior.

He is a member of the Consortium for Church &State Research.

Luigi Berzano

He is full professor at the University of Turin and a member of the Sociology of Religion section of the Italian Association of Sociology. He also works in cooperation with the School of Theology and the Rebaudengo University in Turin.

Since 2005 he is a member of the Scientific Committee of the Review "Studi di Sociologia" (Sociology Studies) published by the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan.

Since 1992 Prof. Berzano is the President of the CESNUR, Center for the Studies on New Religions based in Turin.

George Chryssides

George Chryssides studied philosophy and theology and the University of Glasgow and obtained his doctorate at Oriel College, Oxford.

He has taught at several British universities, becoming Head of Religious Studies at the University of Wolverhampton in 2001. He is currently Honorary Research Fellow in Contemporary Religion at York St John University and the University of Birmingham.

His main research interest is western non-traditional religions, sometimes called New Religious Movements, and popularly known as ‘cults’ or ‘sects’.

Nicola Colaianni

He has been an councillor to the Supreme Court of Cassation until 2003, when he switched to teaching – until 2017 – Ecclesiastical Law of the State and Comparative Ecclesiastical Law at the Law Department of the University of Bari "Aldo Moro" and at the school of specialization for the legal professions of the same University.

Former president of the Puglia section of the Central Tax Commission, he is now the president of the section of the Lazio Regional Tax Commission – Rome office.

Marco Croce

Born in La Spezia, Italy, 1974, Marco Croce is an Assistant professor in ecclesiastical law and canon law since November 2017 at the department of juridical sciences of the University of Florence.

He teaches Law and religions and Ecclesiastical Law at the University of Florence Law School.

He graduated in law cum laude in 2005 at the University of Florence with a dissertation on "The value of precedent in the jurisprudence of the Italian constitutional court" (supervisor: Professor Stefano Grassi).

Fabrizio d'Agostini

He graduated in philosophy of law with prof. Bobbio, with a thesis on the origins of juridical thought.
Exercises the profession of civil lawyer at the bar of Turin. Directs the legal sector of the law firm DMZ (

He collaborated until 1977 with the International Journal of philosophy of law and published together with prof. Carchia on the specialized magazine "La Questione Penale".
As a lawyer he defended with great success the right to freedom of religion.

Maria d’Arienzo

She is Full Professor of Ecclesiastical Law, Canon Law and Confessional Rights at the Department of Law of the University of Naples "Federico II".

She is Director of the Review "Diritto e Religioni" and Director, with Giuseppe Cataldi, of the series "Migrazioni Euromediterranee, Sistemi Normativi e Scambi Internazionali" for the types of Luigi Pellegrini Editore.

Patricia Duval

She is an Attorney and member of the Paris Bar in France. She has a degree in public law from La Sorbonne University and specializes in international human rights law. She has defended the rights of minorities of religion or belief in domestic and international fora and before international institutions such as the European Court of Human Rights, the Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the European Union and the United Nations.

Vasco Fronzoni

He is Professor of Muslim Law and Islamic Countries at the Asia, Africa and Mediterranean Department of the Oriental University of Naples as well as of Ecclesiastical Law and Islamic Law at the Faculty of Law at the Pegaso Telematic University.

Graduated in Law and Islamic Sciences, he received a PhD in Muslim Law and Islamic Countries from the L'Oriental University of Naples and a specialization in "Violence and Religion MOOC" at the Faculté de Théologie de l'Université de Genève .

David William Kim

David W. Kim (PhD: Syd) is a Visiting Scholar, Harvard Divinity School at Harvard University, an Associate Professor of Modern History at Kookmin University, Seoul, a Mission Specialist of ANU Institute for Space and an Honorary Lecturer at the School of History, Australian National University, Canberra.

Susan Palmer

She is a researcher, sociologist and writer in the area of new religious movements (popularly known as "cults"). She received her Ph.D. from Concordia University where she is an Affiliate Professor and Part-time Instructor and teaches courses, including "Cults and Religious Controversy." She is also a Member of the Religious Studies Faculty at McGill University. Her research area has always been in the field of New Religious Movements. Some of her books focus on themes in new religious studies, such as charisma, gender and family, millennialism, healing, anticult movement.

Bernadette Rigal-Cellard

Bernadette Rigal-Cellard, full professor, PhD and HDR in Anglophone studies, is Professor in North-American studies and Religious Studies at the Université Bordeaux Montaigne (France) where she founded the Master program « Religions and Societies » in 2005 (multidisciplinary). She is a specialist of minority religions and of their interaction with their surrounding culture, as well as of the links between religions and literatures. She is vice-president of the European Observatory of Religions and secularism.

Rosita Šorytė

She was born on September 2, 1965 in Lithuania. In 1988, she graduated from the University of Vilnius in French Language and Literature. In 1994, she got her diploma in international relations from the Institut International d‘Administration Publique in Paris.