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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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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

The Twilight of Republican Religion

The Twilight of Republican Religion

(p.72) 9 The Twilight of Republican Religion
As If God Existed

Maurizio Viroli

, Alberto Nones
Princeton University Press

This chapter focuses on the decline of republican religion. In the late sixteenth century, while the Florentine experiment with republican government was on the wane, the conviction that Christian religion and republican principles were tightly interconnected was also in decline. In contrast, the idea that to serve the republic one must depart from God, or that to save one's soul one must put aside republican ideals, became more and more widely spread. Evidence of this decline can be found in Guicciardini's reflections in Le cose fiorentine (1528). He reports that the belief that God loves the freedom of peoples is commonly held in Florence, but he cautiously abstains from adopting that opinion as his own. While he censures neither confiding in God nor expressing gratitude to him, he exhorts people to be wise and hope for God's help as a reward for wisdom, rather than as a remedy for recklessness and madness.

Keywords:   republican religion, Guicciardini, Christian religion, God, republican principles

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