Siena Civil Religion And The Sienese

Author: Gerald Parsons
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351900137
Size: 78.90 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Siena is often referred to as the 'City of the Virgin' and the 'City of the Palio'. The special devotion of the Sienese to the Virgin began in the thirteenth century and in times of danger the Sienese have regularly rededicated their city to the Madonna, who is also celebrated in the twice-yearly festival of the Palio. Siena, Civil Religion and the Sienese examines Sienese devotion to the Virgin from the medieval period until the present day. Exploring how the Palio has become the principal means of sustaining and celebrating Sienese culture, values and identity - including popular devotion to the Virgin - Parsons shows how this festival stands in continuity with the earlier civil religion of medieval and renaissance Siena. Drawing on insights from recent discussion of the role of civil religion in medieval and renaissance Italy, the USA and modern Britain, this book explores how civil religion sustains the Sienese sense of their history, identity and uniqueness through a variety of beliefs, rituals, ceremonies and symbols. Highly illustrated and including a full bibliography, this book breaks new ground in interpreting Sienese devotion to the Virgin and to the Palio in terms of 'civil religion'.

Building A Civil Society

Author: Steven C. Soper
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
ISBN: 1442645032
Size: 17.59 MB
Format: PDF
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The most passionate advocates of Italy's unification in the nineteenth century possessed an almost limitless faith in the benefits of civic association. They also shared a common concern: once Italian unification was achieved and various freedoms were established, would ordinary Italians naturally become responsible, progressive citizens – especially after centuries of foreign rule, regional division, and economic decline? Most unification advocates doubted that their fellow citizens could form a modern, progressive civil society on their own, or that a vibrant association life would develop from the ground up. Building a Civil Society is the first book-length English-language study of associational life in nineteenth-century Italy. Drawing on extensive research in published and unpublished documents – including associational records, newspapers, periodicals, government documents, guidebooks, exhibition catalogues, memoirs, and private letters – Steven C. Soper provides a complex account of Italian liberalism during Europe's age of association. His study also raises important questions about the role that associations play in emerging democracies.