L’eterno ritorno dell’uguale? La poligamia nello spazio giuridico contemporaneo. Tra identità religiosa e (nuove) istanze di legittimazione

In several Islamic-majority states, the Qur’anic precept allowing polygynous union has been translated within the various codifications relating to personal status. The ‘polygynous option’ has thus become one of the permissible ways of institutionalizing an affective bond. While this choice represents an entirely permissible option in such contexts, in our latitudes it clashes with a legal tradition and sociocultural framework that instead ascribe an inherent disvalue to polygamous union. This remark, however, coexists with an incontrovertible datum: due to the migratory phenomena that have connoted the recent history of Italy, de facto polygamous families are increasingly numerous; moreover, cases in which the polygamist seeks the reunification of multiple spouses are not uncommon. This essay sets out to explore such phenomenon from a threefold perspective: the strictly religious profile of the polygynous marriage and its reflections in some Islamic-majority countries; the reaction of the Italian legal system to the spread of polygamy; and finally, the academic and jurisprudential debates on the subject, particularly in Italy and Spain. The essay concludes by pointing out the similarities between polyamory and polygamy, highlighting what could be the possible consequences of legal recognition of the former but not the latter.

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