By Maurizio Viroli
Religion and liberty are frequently considered mutual enemies: if faith has a ordinary best friend, it really 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 non secular devotion to liberty. this is often relatively the case while liberty is threatened through authoritarianism: the staunchest defenders of liberty are those that suppose a deeply non secular dedication to it.
Viroli makes his case by means of reconstructing, for the 1st time, the heritage of the Italian "religion of liberty," protecting its whole span yet targeting 3 key examples of political emancipation: the unfastened republics of the overdue heart a long time, the Risorgimento of the 19th century, and the antifascist Resistenza of the 20 th century. In each one instance, Viroli indicates, a non secular spirit that looked ethical and political liberty because the maximum items of human lifestyles was once basic to developing and conserving liberty. He additionally exhibits that after this non secular sentiment has been corrupted or suffocated, Italians have misplaced their liberty.
This booklet makes a strong and provocative contribution to trendy debates concerning the compatibility of faith and republicanism.
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Additional info for As If God Existed: Religion and Liberty in the History of Italy
The handbook also recommends that at the end of the speech, the podestà should utter words of praise and reverence for “our Lord Jesus Christ, true son of God, and to his holy mother, Our Lady Saint Mary” as well as the revered saints of the city. 3 If the city that the podestà is going to rule is lacerated by civil strife, as was often the case in thirteenth-century Italy, he must appeal to the Gospel in order to urge peace and concord, and cite the famous passage “Glory to God in the highest heaven, / and on earth peace for those he favors” (Luke 2:14).
My goal is to reanimate this history, along with the concepts and persons within it, and give my work the character of not only a reconstruction but also a narration. In a few cases, I have also tried to integrate contextualism with the history of books in order to suggest to the reader that concepts and theories indeed circulated, thanks to books that had a particular shape, illustrations, and dedications; in short, the form of the medium helps us better understand the historical significance of the text.
He then explains that Christian, pagan, and Jewish authors all agree that sovereign power is good inasmuch as it comes from God, who is perfect goodness. The exercise of sovereign power, however, can be bad: “They have set up kings, / but without my consent, / and appointed princes, / but without my knowledge. / With their silver and gold, / they have made themselves idols, / but only to be destroyed” (Hosea 8:4). Leaving aside the tricky question of the obligation to obey corrupt sovereigns, da Viterbo strongly reaffirms that the podestà must always have God and justice before his eyes.