Machiavelli's God

Machiavelli's God

by Maurizio Viroli
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0691124140

ISBN-13: 9780691124148

Pub. Date: 08/04/2010

Publisher: Princeton University Press

To many readers of The Prince, Machiavelli appears to be deeply un-Christian or even anti-Christian, a cynic who thinks rulers should use religion only to keep their subjects in check. But in Machiavelli's God, Maurizio Viroli, one of the world's leading authorities on Machiavelli, argues that Machiavelli, far from opposing Christianity, thought it was crucial to

Overview

To many readers of The Prince, Machiavelli appears to be deeply un-Christian or even anti-Christian, a cynic who thinks rulers should use religion only to keep their subjects in check. But in Machiavelli's God, Maurizio Viroli, one of the world's leading authorities on Machiavelli, argues that Machiavelli, far from opposing Christianity, thought it was crucial to republican social and political renewal-but that first it needed to be renewed itself. And without understanding this, Viroli contends, it is impossible to comprehend Machiavelli's thought.

Viroli places Machiavelli in the context of Florence's republican Christianity, which was founded on the idea that the true Christian is a citizen who serves the common good. In this tradition, God participates in human affairs, supports and rewards those who govern justly, and desires men to make the earthly city similar to the divine one. Building on this tradition, Machiavelli advocated a religion of virtue, and he believed that, without this faith, free republics could not be established, defend themselves against corruption, or survive. Viroli makes a powerful case that Machiavelli, far from being a pagan or atheist, was a prophet of a true religion of liberty, a way of moral and political living that would rediscover and pursue charity and justice.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691124148
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
08/04/2010
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents

Foreword ix

Preface xi

Introduction 1

1 The Republican Religion 2

2 Machiavelli the Puritan 11

3 Machiavelli's Prophecy 20

Chapter 1 His God 27

1 The Soul and the Fatherland 27

2 Republican Christianity 43

3 Machiavelli and the Religion of Virtue 61

4 Moral and Religious Reform 75

Chapter 2 The Power of Words 89

1 Rhetoric and Civil Religion 89

2 Machiavelli, Orator 99

3 Creator of Myths 109

4 His Finest Piece of Oratory 122

5 Republican Eloquence and Wisdom 134

Chapter 3 The Republic and its Religion 154

1 Republican Government and Religion 154

2 The Religion of Liberty 170

3 Customs and Religion 177

4 Religion, War, and Social Conflict 185

5 The Reform of Orders and the Reform of Customs 198

Chapter 4 Machiavelli and the Religious and Moral Reformation of Italy 208

1 Heresy and Aspirations for Religious Reform 211

2 The Difficulties of Survival in Counter-Reformation Italy 232

3 The Redemption of Italy and the Idea of Moral Reform in the Writers of the Eighteenth Century 247

4 The Risorgimento and the Religion of Liberty 263

Index 295

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