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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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Regrets and the Quest for New Faiths

Regrets and the Quest for New Faiths

(p.154) 16 Regrets and the Quest for New Faiths
As If God Existed

Maurizio Viroli

, Alberto Nones
Princeton University Press

This chapter considers Risorgimento patriots' concerns about the future of Italian liberty following national unification. They understood that the new state lacked a civil religion, and that liberal institutions were, as a consequence, fragile. The educational projects inspired by Mazzini were directed against clericalism and the power of the Catholic Church, but they also urged a religious revolution in the name of the ideal of “God and people.” La nuova Europa, a paper associated with the Associazione Democratica Italiana, affirmed in an article in 1862 that it was necessary to go to Rome and remain there in order to bring about a European revolution in the people's consciences capable of achieving the triumph of thought and reason over faith, thereby accomplishing “the next work of the Risorgimento, the Reformation, and Philosophy, inaugurating the divinity of thought in the basilica disencumbered of the Roman God.”

Keywords:   religion, Italian liberty, national unification, Risorgimento, religious reform

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