Download As If God Existed: Religion and Liberty in the History of by Maurizio Viroli PDF

By Maurizio Viroli

Religion and liberty are frequently considered mutual enemies: if faith has a common best friend, it truly is authoritarianism--not republicanism or democracy. yet during this publication, Maurizio Viroli, a number one historian of republican political suggestion, demanding situations this traditional knowledge. He argues that political emancipation and the safety of political liberty have continually required the self-sacrifice of individuals with spiritual sentiments and a spiritual devotion to liberty. this can be really the case while liberty is threatened via authoritarianism: the staunchest defenders of liberty are those that consider a deeply spiritual dedication to it.

Viroli makes his case through reconstructing, for the 1st time, the background of the Italian "religion of liberty," overlaying its complete span yet concentrating on 3 key examples of political emancipation: the unfastened republics of the overdue center a while, the Risorgimento of the 19th century, and the antifascist Resistenza of the 20 th century. In every one instance, Viroli exhibits, a spiritual spirit that looked ethical and political liberty because the optimum items of human lifestyles used to be basic to developing and protecting liberty. He additionally exhibits that once this spiritual sentiment has been corrupted or suffocated, Italians have misplaced their liberty.

This publication makes a robust and provocative contribution to modern day debates in regards to the compatibility of faith and republicanism.

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As If God Existed: Religion and Liberty in the History of Italy

Faith and liberty are frequently regarded as mutual enemies: if faith has a ordinary best friend, it truly is authoritarianism--not republicanism or democracy. yet during this booklet, Maurizio Viroli, a number one historian of republican political notion, demanding situations this traditional knowledge. He argues that political emancipation and the safeguard of political liberty have consistently required the self-sacrifice of individuals with spiritual sentiments and a non secular devotion to liberty.

Extra info for As If God Existed: Religion and Liberty in the History of Italy

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The republic needs God’s help. Hoping to obtain it, the ruler must have a sincere fear of God and must observe the Catholic faith, remembering the scripture “But Yahweh’s face is set against those who do evil, / to cut off the memory of them from the earth” (Ps. 34:16). 4 Within the council, he who rules must above all heed the advice of the wise and elderly, as again the Bible teaches us: “Do not dismiss what the old people have to say, / for they too were taught by their parents; / from them you will learn how to think” (Sir.

In his judgment, republican virtues were the same as divine ones. 15 Public processions were the fundamental expression of republican religion. Both Florentine and Venetian ones recognized the sacredness of secular authorities, and endeavored to bestow a sacred character on their republics. 16 The Florentines, deprived as they were of a central sacred symbol, had to seek alternatives: adolescents’ confraternities, miraculous images, and charismatic priests. The Medici were able to satisfy the Florentines’ need for a ritual and symbolic center, but only after they had buried the republican government.

For Salutati, Christians’ love of country is far superior to the much-­ celebrated ancients’ love of country. The ancients did not know true charity (vera caritas), which originates from Christ’s love and Christians’ love of him, and commands us to love our neighbor as we do ourselves. 3 Christian ethics are, in his view, the perfection of Cicero’s ideal of civil virtue. 4 A good citizen who serves his country operates much as does divine Providence, because providence acts for the good of the universe and desires the good of civil communities.

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