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

By Maurizio Viroli

Religion and liberty are frequently regarded as mutual enemies: if faith has a usual best friend, it really 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 security of political liberty have continuously required the self-sacrifice of individuals with spiritual sentiments and a non secular devotion to liberty. this can be really the case while liberty is threatened through authoritarianism: the staunchest defenders of liberty are those that think a deeply spiritual dedication to it.

Viroli makes his case via reconstructing, for the 1st time, the historical past of the Italian "religion of liberty," masking its whole span yet targeting 3 key examples of political emancipation: the unfastened republics of the past due center a while, the Risorgimento of the 19th century, and the antifascist Resistenza of the 20 th century. In each one instance, Viroli indicates, a spiritual spirit that looked ethical and political liberty because the optimum items of human lifestyles was once basic to constructing and maintaining liberty. He additionally indicates that once this spiritual sentiment has been corrupted or suffocated, Italians have misplaced their liberty.

This booklet makes a robust and provocative contribution to ultra-modern debates concerning the compatibility of faith and republicanism.

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