By Maurizio Viroli
Religion and liberty are usually considered mutual enemies: if faith has a usual best friend, it truly is authoritarianism--not republicanism or democracy. yet during this booklet, Maurizio Viroli, a number one historian of republican political suggestion, demanding situations this traditional knowledge. He argues that political emancipation and the safeguard of political liberty have constantly required the self-sacrifice of individuals with spiritual sentiments and a non secular devotion to liberty. this is often relatively the case while liberty is threatened by means of authoritarianism: the staunchest defenders of liberty are those that believe a deeply non secular dedication to it.
Viroli makes his case via reconstructing, for the 1st time, the historical past of the Italian "religion of liberty," overlaying its whole span yet concentrating on 3 key examples of political emancipation: the unfastened republics of the past due heart a long time, the Risorgimento of the 19th century, and the antifascist Resistenza of the 20 th century. In every one instance, Viroli indicates, a non secular spirit that seemed ethical and political liberty because the maximum items of human existence used to be primary to developing and keeping liberty. He additionally indicates that after this spiritual sentiment has been corrupted or suffocated, Italians have misplaced their liberty.
This ebook makes a strong and provocative contribution to trendy debates concerning the compatibility of faith and republicanism.
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Faith and liberty are frequently regarded as mutual enemies: if faith has a normal best friend, it truly is authoritarianism--not republicanism or democracy. yet during this ebook, Maurizio Viroli, a number one historian of republican political suggestion, demanding situations this traditional knowledge. He argues that political emancipation and the protection of political liberty have continually required the self-sacrifice of individuals with non secular sentiments and a spiritual devotion to liberty.
Additional info for As If God Existed: Religion and Liberty in the History of Italy
The king of France was called a holy king in a holy land, as witnessed by the royal lily, the fleur-de-lis, a symbol of holiness, with the three petals representing faith, doctrine, and military power. In the thirteenth century, when republican religion emerges in Italy, the idea of the holy king in a land devoted to the true Christian faith was generally accepted in France. ”10 Republican and Monarchical Religion • 31 We can now rather easily grasp the difference between the royal and the republican religion.
One of the works, comissioned to Fra Bartolomeo, that did not see the light was a painting of Saint Ann, which was supposed to represent the saint in an important position, for, during her feast day, the Florentines had rebelled against the duke of Athens, who was tyrannizing the city. In the Consiglio Grande’s hall, the seat of the popular government, two marble epitaphs inspired by Savonarola were installed. The first, in the vernacular, clearly referred to the rallying cry “chi vuol fare parlamento vuol torre al popolo e’ reggimento” (those who want to summon the parliament want to destroy popular government), used more than once in Florence’s history to call people into the squares to destroy republican liberties.
Charity, love for God and men, is prominent among these virtues. In addition to charity, the ruler must respect justice, understood as God’s command. The principles of republican government are thus not only moral and political maxims dictated by reason and prudence but also religious principles. 2 Images of the Civil Religion Through the treatises on government, the concept of civil religion spread within republican cities’ culture and customs. But even more effective were the images that embodied those concepts.
As If God Existed: Religion and Liberty in the History of Italy by Maurizio Viroli