Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
As If God ExistedReligion and Liberty in the History of Italy$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Maurizio Viroli

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691142357

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691142357.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

Images of the Civil Religion

Images of the Civil Religion

(p.21) 2 Images of the Civil Religion
As If God Existed

Maurizio Viroli

, Alberto Nones
Princeton University Press

This chapter details the spread of republican religion. The concept of civil religion spread within republican cities' culture and customs through the treatises on government. But even more effective were the images that embodied those concepts. Whereas the concepts expounded in the treatises spoke first and foremost to reason, paintings struck the eyes, and from the eyes touched the passions. The rulers of republics were aware of the images' strength, especially when they were accompanied by clear words, written in large, legible characters, preferably in the vernacular. For this reason, rulers commissioned skilled artists to produce a great number of works explaining the principles of republican good government to the magistrates and citizens. The message conveyed by the walls of the city government's most important halls was at once political and religious. That is, their imagery taught people to view civic duties as if they were real religious duties—God's and Christ's commandments, not just human advice.

Keywords:   republicanism, republican religion, Italian history, civil religion, civic duty

Princeton Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.