Caritas e bene comune

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Between XIII and XIV century in Italy, especially in Florence, a new ideology of common good takes shape, in relationship with the enforcement of the communal «state» during the epoch marked out by popular regime. A main cause of this renewal is the explicit politicization of the Christian virtue of charity. Traditionally the political tie fell within the categories of friendship and love, not of charity, the «universal» virtue that bound the man to God and the men between themselves in the context of ecclesiastical community: the Thomist system provides a perfectly codified representation of this logic. Vice versa, some authors, like Ptolomy of Lucca, Remigio de’Girolami, Coluccio Salutati, clearly show the transformation in caritas: the political community become direct object of love of charity and the political relationships, between the citizens and between them and the governing authorities, are strengthened by the same art of «feeling». The politicization of charity is the most evident symptom of the transformation of the political «common good», from a complex notion, including all that a community need in order to live well (namely the virtues in the citizens, the domestic peace, the commons etc.), to a spiritual and undetermined principle, that can hardly be defined, and that tends to correspond to abstract body of the community (or to his transcendental «person»). In this transformation the presence of the commons (bona communia) in the discourses and in the institutional practice gradually fade out; their role is becoming increasingly limited, non comparable (and not commensurable) to the function of the true «common good» (bonum commune). Only the latter is becoming the object of the care from the governing people and of the love of charity from the citizens.
Original languageItalian
Pages (from-to)7-56
Number of pages50
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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