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As If God ExistedReligion and Liberty in the History of Italy$
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Maurizio Viroli

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691142357

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691142357.001.0001

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A Religion That Instills Hope

A Religion That Instills Hope

Chapter:
(p.226) 21 A Religion That Instills Hope
Source:
As If God Existed
Author(s):

Maurizio Viroli

, Alberto Nones
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691142357.003.0022

This chapter focuses on Croce's Storia d'Europa. The Storia d'Europa appeared in a cultural context in which concern over the establishment of totalitarian religions stimulated free consciences to search for salvation in a renewed and rediscovered religious conception of life. It is no surprise that in terms of international public opinion, Storia d'Europa was enthusiastically received. However, the doctrine of the religion of liberty encountered tough opposition from the church in Italy. The journal Civilità Cattolica devoted four articles to the Storia d'Europa to demonstrate that it was an antiphilosophical and antireligious work that attacked “the Catholicism of the church of Rome.” Giovanni Papini (1881–1956), a fervent Catholic and a devout son of the Holy Mother Church, accuses Croce of posing as the prophet of a new religion that sought to destroy Catholicism.

Keywords:   religion, liberty, Benedetto Croce, Storia d'Europa, totalitarian religion, Catholicism

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