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Si parla molto di coloro che negano il ritorno delle religioni, il che significa che le religioni non hanno perso la loro importanza in Europa. Langewiesche difende la posizione secondo cui il cattolicesimo non rifiuta il presente, ma contribuisce a plasmarlo. Nell'opinione pubblica politica usano solo argomenti puramente politici e sottolineano che la religione e la "visione globale del mondo" sono solo una scelta di secondo ordine. Il quarto comandamento ha quindi la sua ragione non in una natura religiosa, intrinseca, ma in una natura pragmatica eudaimonistica o individuale; nella successiva manca solo la ragione eidaimonistica.

Ma le fonti possono contraddire una morale critica. Ma lo stato secolare non ha senso della vita, e non risponde ai bisogni trascendenti dell'uomo. Nell'Unione Europea, aggiunge Isensee, gli ordini del giorno del diritto religioso esulano dalle sue competenze. D'altra parte sarebbe di loro competenza riflettere sul patrimonio cristiano, per vincere il minimo come atto simbolico e quindi anche come anima. Egli vede qui il merito della Riforma e, di conseguenza, la democrazia negli Stati Uniti.

Ma la democrazia politica non era il punto di arrivo di questa secolarizzazione del concetto di equivalenza. Infine, il coeditore Andreas Kablitz, romanista di Colonia, descrive nella sua lunghissima conferenza sulla religione dell'arte come prodotto di un mondo laico, le riserve tradizionali, filosofiche e teologiche che l'arte incontra nella tradizione della cultura occidentale per dare all'arte un rango paragonabile a quello della religione.

Continua con il teologo protestante Friedrich Schleiermacher, in particolare con il suo terzo discorso Sull'educazione religiosa , dove ha potuto combinare solo un concetto specifico di arte nell'alleanza in definitiva ibrida di una religione artistica. Kablitz continua ad analizzare l'opera di Richard Wagner, in particolare di Parsifal.

L'Almanacco mostra e alcuni percorsi per il futuro della religione nel mondo secolare dell'Europa - anche se molto forte da una posizione protestante. Religion, Staat und Gesellschaft im Jahrhundert in Westeuropa. Eine systemtheoretische Antwort. Rivista di etica e scienze sociali. Since I am a history student, I want to underline that this region through its history has had a common interest and a shared common past in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and, later, Communism. This year we mark the th anniversary of the break-up of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the emergence of nation-states.

The question of nation-states is an important part of political ethics within a CST-based reflection. In all course programmes, including nursery, CST is an obligatory subject. It is a one of the subjects the constitute the identity of CUC. This course is intended for students of the following years of study: third year in the undergraduate programmes of history, communication sciences, nursing and sociology, and first year in the undergraduate programme of psychology. The syllabus of the course CST 2 is divided into 14 teaching units among which each deal with key social issues that are at the center of CST.

The syllabus goes from the definition of the CST, to an historical overview, then the main social questions like politics and ethics, human rights, family, Church and environment, then key social issues of today's society poverty , and, finally, an overview to the key social encyclicals. These subjects offer students another perspective, from the point of view of Catholic Church, on the main social issues, encouraging students to think about today's world from the perspective of CST.

Conferences, seminars, research projects that deal with particular social issues. In Croatia, especially at CUC, a few years ago there were several conferences and research projects that dealt with social issues and which are connected with the topic of the CST-CEE summer school. It was sn international scientific conference of which the main goal was to bring together scholars from the leading Catholic universities of post-communist Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Ukraine and Georgia in partnership with the University of Notre Dame USA and the Nanovic Institute for European Studies.

The benefit of this Conference has been better networking among all from Catholic universities, especially Catholic universities from Central and East Europe who have shared a common history. The other conference that was held at CUC in Other topics that are in the domain of CST and that have been part of the conferences or seminars held at CUC, include reconciliation, memories, and the reconciliation of memories. Volunteer Group. Another aspect of action through the CST at the CUC is a volunteer group operating at the University, whose work includes students and professors.

Through various volunteer actions, we try to help the poor and needy in Croatian society. Each action is in the spirit of helping, but also in raising awareness of the social situation around us. Some of the most promising actions in that direction have been held in the Christmas season or in Lent; for example, collecting and carrying food to social supermarkets, volunteering in the soup kitchen, visiting and volunteering in a home for homeless children, attending various associations and civil society organizations to get acquainted with their work, organizing lectures for students, most notably on Social Entrepreneurship, with the example of the social cooperative Sveti Martin.

The main goal of this volunteer group is not only to help students empathize with those in difficulty in the society in which they live, but also to help them be aware of the dignity and value of every human being. During the Communist period, only some historical aspects or some of its doctrinal outcomes were presented in the handbooks of the Faculties of Orthodox or Catholic Theology, or in those of the seminaries.

Some attempts, like the one of the Orthodox Patriarch Justinian Marina, who wrote Apostolatul social Social Apostolate , 2 which tried to find a way to bring together secular and religious social doctrine, can be noted in this period, but they did not contribute, as we would expect, to wider dissemination of the social doctrine of the Church.

Moreover, this work has later been criticised by some of the historians who investigated his life and activity. Therefore, shortly after , when the Faculties of Theology that had been closed by the Communist regime were reopened and new books in theology could be published, this topic started to be studied again, both in Catholic and Orthodox contexts. Some of the authors preferred to emphasize the historical aspects of the topic, others its practical outcomes, while others still tried to take ideas from the Catholic tradition and put them into practice in the other, or used arguments from the Catholic confessional space in the other one.

Therefore, using the information from the books or articles that have investigated these topics, we will try to synthesize here the way in which the aforementioned topic is presented in the Faculties of Orthodox and Catholic Theology in Romania after Our investigation will not only be a review of the literature, but also bring to attention the way in which Catholic Social Teaching has influenced the thinking of Romanian theologians like Radu Preda 3 in the Orthodox tradition, and become important even for sociological and political discourse.

When one speaks about Catholic social teaching and its reception in Romania, one must mention, for sure, the name of Father Emil Dumea. Of course, in books like the one dedicated to the relationship between the Church and state in Europe, 9 where he investigates the relationships between these two institutions during different ages and highlights the changes that took place in different times between them, he also uses information about the aforementioned topic, referring to it and offering explanations from papal encyclical letters to some events.

The same can also be noted in his book dedicated to the way relationships between the Catholic Church and Communism are reflected on the Internet. Familiarised with a methodological approach, he shows even from the beginning that the purpose of the investigation of Catholic Social teaching in his area is a missionary one, 11 but it is always linked with other important domains of the activity and mission of the Church and its theoretical research.

Interest in this topic should be noted in other confessional areas. For example, amongst the Orthodox, Radu Preda is one of the theologians who are also interested in the Social Doctrine of the Church. With his background in places like Hamburg, Vienna or Heidelberg, he proposes topics like the relationship between the Church and State in contemporary Romania and its challenges, 12 or an investigation into Communism and its main elements from an Orthodox perspective. As a theologian, he has been the first in Romania to propose lectures on social theology, at the end of s.

Therefore, although he is not an authors who speaks only, or primarily, about Catholic Social doctrine, we should mentioned that he often uses references to it in his books, not only in comparison to other fields and confessions like Orthodox or Protestant , but also in order to present the solutions offered by the Catholic tradition. Since he is considered the first professor of Social Theology and, up to now, the best known for it within Romanian orthodoxy, we think it is important to mention him there. We should also mention the fact that civil society, or lay people in Romania, are also interested in some aspects of the social doctrine of the Catholic Church.

Close to Radu Preda, with whom he founded the inter-religious and inter-cultural institute "Inter" from Cluj, 15 he is also interested in the political outcomes of the social doctrine of the Church. Therefore, in books like: The Principles of Common Thinking. Christian Democratic Doctrine and Social Action , published in , 16 Seeking for the Common Good , published a couple of years later, 17 Religion in Transition of , 18 or the text dedicated to the relationships between religion, politics and rule of law, 19 he uses examples from Catholic Social Doctrine and its implementation in the Catholic tradition as models for illustrating some of his theories or the solutions he proposes for the Romanian situation.

Of course, he is only one of many other important voices from the civil space who have become more interested in social theology and the interaction between politics and theology in the public sphere. This also explains why an important publishing house in Romania, located until in Cluj-Napoca and since then, in Bucharest, namely Eikon, has initiated a collection entitled "Theologia socialis. A sign that confirms the relevance of this collection and of the topics presented there for readers consists in the fact that the most important meeting of librarians and a bookfest from there has awarded this Publishing House 20 with an important prize.

A quick look at contemporary research in this field will show that almost all the titles from this collection are quoted in every serious investigation dedicated to one of the topics related to the social teaching of the Church and social action. As we have tried to emphasize here too, social teaching has become an important topic in Romanian theological and lay debates after Professors from the Faculties of Catholic or Orthodox Theology have proposed lectures on this topic and used many elements of Catholic Social Doctrine to speak about topics like the relationships between Church and State or the interaction between politics and theology.

It has been also important for the public sphere, for political analysts, for historians and specialists in different research fields, where people like Radu Carp have deepened several aspects of it, or important publishing houses have initiated collections where it has an important place. Historical and Christian Perspectives. Christian-democrate doctrine and social action , Eikon Press, Cluj-Napoca, Sequences of an accomodation process , Humanitas Publishing House, Bucharest, I believe in one holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church , so proclaim Catholics all over the world.

We all are part of one body, one Church, where Christ is the head. Yet our unity does not necessarily mean that we are all the same. God created each of us as a unique person and each of us is different. This is true also regarding our opinions. We all follow the path of Christ but with different approaches.

Yet it is possible to build unity in diversity , as Pope Francis says. However, there are also times where there is more diversity than unity. This situation can nowadays be observed among Catholics in the Czech Republic regarding the migration crisis. An examination of this diversity among Czech Catholics is the topic of this article. Our task is not to present a complex analysis, given space constraints; the goal is rather to provide important insights into the issue, especially for those who are not so familiar with the Czech environment.

All arguments mentioned here are based on a content analysis of previous research, or on public polls, interviews and personal experience. The time period for which the sources have been analysed is marked by the outbreak of the crisis, i. Preference is given to the most recent documents, provided they are relevant. When we analyse all relevant sources mentioned above, we can identify four different sets of opinions of Czech Catholics towards the migration crisis. First of all, thinking of the people, whether they are conservative or liberal plays key role.

Sympathies towards conservativism or liberalism determine to large extent how Czech Catholics search for and interpret information. A second cause is rooted in the political and media coverage of the crisis. Based on framing theory, this article shows how Czech media tend to create an almost exclusively negative picture of immigration.

A third cause of this division of opinion can be identified in speeches of the Pope and other Church authorities. These speeches are quite often misunderstood or even misused in pro- or anti-immigration rhetoric in public debates. The article concludes that Czech Catholics are at risk of being formed and divided according secular ideas, which may not always be in line with Catholic Social Teaching CST.

At the end of this introduction, I would like to define some key terms used in the article. Unless otherwise stated, the topic concerning the migration crisis is meant only as it regards accepting or rejecting migrants in the Czech Republic. I use the general term im migrants because, for the purposes of this article, it is not necessary to explicitly mention refugees.

In this case, by the term migrants I mean people who are coming via the southern borders of the EU, i. Unless otherwise stated, by the term Church authorities I mean clergymen as individuals, not institutions e. Finally, there are disputes over the term crisis , pointing out that migration has always been present in Europe.

However, the term is widely used in the Czech media, so to make it easier for further reference, I will also use the term migration crisis. Since there are no concrete numbers regarding only Catholics, I will illustrate the mood within society as a whole. This fact might not be so problematic, since the Church is embedded in society, and to some extent reflects its mood. Simply put, Czech society is perceived increasingly xenophobic. This is how the foreign media present it, and what we can also find in some Czech newspapers. In , 60 percent of respondents claimed they do not want to have foreigners as their neighbours.

In , when the previous round of these questions was made, only 20 percent answered that way. However, stating that Czechs are becoming xenophobic is only partially true. It is truer to say that Czechs are less and less tolerant towards Muslims and immigrants from the South coming to Europe these days. On the other hand, Czech society is quite tolerant towards people coming from countries like Ukraine or Vietnam. According to Czech respondents, that cannot be said about Muslims. Yet there are very few Muslims in this society, as experts usually agree.

The answer can be found in the way the media and public figures cover the issue. Media coverage and the public opinion. The media is a powerful tool, with undeniable influence over public opinion. The relevant part of this theory can be explained in plain English in the following way: t is the way in which, and the perspective from which, the media present i. Consequently, the public can make meaning of events. There is some research addressing the issue of how media has covered, or covers, the migrant crisis. Using content analysis of individual reports, this research examined from which perspective the migration crisis was covered.

In most cases, reports covered security issues and the possible impact of migrants on the Czech Republic up to 40 percent of all reports. Coverage of the life of migrants or humanitarian aid was marginalised less than 2 percent. In other words, the media has framed migrants not as people who left their countries for various kinds of problems, but as a security threat. Other polls came to similar conclusions.

Despite media framing, not all Czechs and so Catholics perceive migrants as a security threat. Some of them even condemn the media coverage as being biased. There are obviously plenty of reasons which, unfortunately, cannot be addressed here due to space constraints. One of the main drivers is the basic thinking of each person. When applied to migration, we can see two different approaches, as mentioned at the beginning of the article.

One is to be sympathetic to people in need, hence to welcome them in the destination country. The other does not oppose humanitarian help but welcoming is not perceived as the right form of help. This basic thinking determines how each group will search for and accept information on the issue. Pareto describes such behaviour with the term derivations. They precede feelings and contribute to strengthening them. At this point, it is trust and not truth what matters. Consequently, the question now is: Where do people take their arguments from, and whom do they trust? At this point, I will focus only on Czech Catholics as a part of society.

The approach of the Czech clergy, the perception of lay people and Catholic Social Teaching. In this section, I will concentrate on how Church authorities talk about migration or the migration crisis , and how do Czech Catholics perceive what they say. Since the article aims to focus on the stance of Czech Catholics, I will not deal with what secular actors say, i.

Regarding Church authorities, we will look at three main people, those who are the most influential: Pope Francis, Cardinal Duka and the best-known priest, Mgr. Pope Francis is framed by the media and hence by a large part of lay Catholics as supportive of welcoming migrants. Such divergent stances towards the Pope are rooted in how the media presents his words. They usually spread those parts of his speeches where the Pope speaks about the necessity of helping and accepting refugees.

The parts where the Pope talks about repatriation or makes appeals to migrants to respect the culture of the hosting countries are usually not mentioned. This problem can be illustrated in the case of the document Towards the Global Compacts on Migrants and Refugees published by the Holy See in According to them, the Pope said that people should some even wrote must welcome, protect and integrate refugees.


Cardinal Dominik Duka is one of the most influential Czech clergymen, together with Fr. Each of them has a different stance on accepting refugees. Duka warns against possible cultural problems should we welcome migrants. Yet, he stresses the moral duty to help those in need. Although many Catholics are supportive of his thought, there is also a visible group of Catholics who disagree with him and even accuse him of xenophobia. He has a rather intellectual approach. According to him, well-educated and informed people cannot be afraid of welcoming migrants.

Only people who have never encountered Muslims or are not self-confident enough can be afraid of them. He is generally known for his tendency to look down on people who are cautious with regard to accepting changes or new situations. Duka has two hobbies — politics and history. In both areas, he has some ideological schemes and his high interest in history may prevent him from proper understanding of current affairs. The existence of various opinions on the migration crisis is not a problem per se. Although Card.

Duka puts emphasis on different aspects risk of cultural clashes than Fr. However, their supporters among the laity tend to do so. Then, they tend to disrespect the others and label them e. Lack of dialogue eventually leads to misunderstanding among people. The problem could be solved to some extent if people knew the underlying ideas embodied in Catholic Social Teaching CST. Secondly, they would realise that CST in general has always embodied both aspects, i. There are various stances among Czech Catholics regarding accepting refugees.

One group stresses the moral duty to help people in need. Their main argument is based on the human dignity of each person. However, they do not talk so much about the eventual return to the state of origin. A second group warns against cultural clashes and favours delivering humanitarian aid to the places of conflict.

However, they do not mention the possibility of accepting refugees at least for some of the time. From the perspective of CST, both groups are right, but CST can be fully implemented only if these two opinions converge. In other words, Christians have a moral duty to help others to live their lives in dignity and to recognise their right to migrate freely, if they cannot find self-fulfilment in their home country. At the same time, Christians shall strive to create such conditions in a world order so that people could exercise their right not to migrate.

Although Czech Catholics share common sense in helping people in need, they rather highlight their different approaches on how to provide such help. This not only sidelines unity, but also complicates constructive co-operation towards an effective solution. Goffman in Goffman, Erving. Frame analysis: an essay on the organization of experience. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press. Between politicization and securitization : coverage of the European migration crisis in Czech online news media. Communication Today, Trnava: Univerzita sv. The study shown that the law was not breached by biased coverage.

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See also: Feminist Theory: Italy. Bibliography: Braidotti, Rosi. New York: Routledge, ; Cavarero, Adriana. New York: Routledge, Cerati, Carla —. The development of her plots usually parallels the awakening of her female protagonists.

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These are strong women who, in becoming independent, learn to accept the hardships as well as the privileges that come with the refusal of traditional roles. Most typical of this situation is the story of Un matrimonio perfetto A perfect marriage , published in In La cattiva figlia The bad daughter, Cerati challenges the assumption that it is the duty of a woman to take care of her elderly parents. After alternating between anger and guilt toward her aging mother, the protagonist is in the end able to view her anew, although a considerable generational gap remains.

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See also: Autobiography; Mother-Daughter Relationship. Bibliography: Bellesia, Giovanna. Cereta, Laura — Born into an upper-middle-class family in Brescia in , Laura Cereta received an education in Latin grammar, math- ematics, classical literature, patristics, and moral philosophy both at home and from the nuns at the convent where she spent two years as a child. At the age of nineteen, she produced her first and only book, a collection of autobiographical Latin letters entitled Epistolae familiares.

Although her Epistolae enjoyed wide circulation in manuscript form within the humanist circles she frequented in Brescia and its environs during her life- time, her work did not find a publisher until Her letters, an unusually large number of which are addressed to women, mingle themes characteristic of Petrarchan humanist discourse with those anticipating modern feminism, which marks her work as distinct from that of any other writer of her time.

Some of her letters openly air feelings her male humanist colleagues considered too intimate in tone for a humanist letterbook, such as those concerning her troubled relationships with her husband and mother. Whereas Christine de Pizan portrays the history of women as a magnificent city Le Livre de la Cite des Dames, , Cereta depicts the intellectual legacy left by generations of women poets and scholars as a proud family tree or lineage generositas.

Rejecting the Renaissance idea of the exceptionality of the learned woman and viewing women instead as a class, Cereta argues that access to a liberal education is the birthright of all members of society, women and men. In her view, the long tradition of scholarly achieve- ments of women already constitutes a respublica mulierum a republic of women , her own variation on the humanist notion that scholars are citizens of an imaginary, utopian community—a respublica litterarum.

But she also con- tends that if women wish to educate themselves they must not only make a conscious choice to do so, but also work diligently to attain that goal. Her letter warns, however, that motherhood and marriage are traps for women, and that howling infants and husbands who will treat them like dogs await those women who elect to marry. She had not yet reached her thirty-first birthday. See also: Humanism; Renaissance. Bibliography: Cereta, Laura. Laurae Ceretae Brixiensis Feminae Clarissimae Epistolae jam primum e manuscriptis in lucem productae.

Iacopo Filippo Tomasini. Padova: Sebastiano Sardi, ; Palma, M. Laura Cereta: A Quattrocento Humanist. Rinaldina Russell. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, The treatment of children in Italian literature is incapable of miti- gating the historical preference for sons over daughters, which has mercenary rather than emotional causes. In early sixteenth-century Florence, for example, the minor nobility tended to marry only within their caste, and girls had to bring proportionately larger dowries if the marriage was into a family of higher rank.

Consequently, while boys were prepared for inheritance, war, or the seminary, girls were expected to carry over a marriage portion, enter a convent, or remain in the parental abode as carers. The birth of a baby girl thus represented a future cost. In the bourgeois class and above, she required a chaperone, so that her purity could be guaranteed as a chattel. Research shows that vocalized interaction between fathers and infant children stands at an average of thirty-seven seconds per day. This average subtends a maximum of ten minutes and thirty seconds per day.

Paternal vo- calization reduces as the infant grows older, and diminishes sharply if the child is female. Belotti argues that children were likely to speak at three and learn a craft by ten years of age, in the Italian Renaissance. Bibliography: Rodocanachi, Emmanuel. Paris: Hachette, ; Saraceno, Chiara.

Non di sola madre. Milan: Rizzoli, ; Haycraft, John. Italian Labyrinth: Italy in the s. Har- mondsworth: Penguin, ; Molho, Anthony. Marriage Alliance in Late Me- dieval Florence. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, The institution of cicisbeismo was widely diffused in eigh- teenth-century Italy. A woman of aristocratic status was allowed to name a man of noble birth other than her betrothed as a companion: he would be known as her cavalier servente literally, servant knight or, derisively, cicisbeo; she would be his dama lady or cicisbea.

Such arrangements were frequently included in wedding contracts, marriage in this period often being based upon economic or political factors. Indeed, it was the legalization by contract of cicisbeismo that constituted the novelty of the practice in the eyes of foreign observers. The fact that women belonging to the Italian aristocracy required a chaperone speaks in itself to the paternalistic attitude that was still ubiquitous on the peninsula; furthermore, the contracted cicisbeo was subject to the approval of the husband and the families concerned.

Yet the institution of cicisbeismo did provide in practice official albeit tacit sanction for a woman of rank to seek erotic satisfaction outside of matrimony: although the cavalier servente was in theory a platonic friend, the relationship was often sexual. The etymology of cicisbeo demonstrates in no uncertain terms the negative connotations associated with the expression: ci ci onomatopoeia for whispering plus babbeo fool. Cicisbeismo was frequently an object of ridicule, and many Italian authors of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries satirized the institution in their works.

The satire of the superficial aspects of cicisbeismo—the minute detail in which is described the energy that the Giovin Signore Young Gentleman expends on his dama, the elaborate care with which the two lovers go through their poses on a typical day—dramatizes the idleness, moral corruption, and economic and social worthlessness of the nobility. Bibliography: Valmaggi, Luigi.

I cicisbei. Torino: Chiantore, ; Gra- megna, Luigi. First ed. Torino: Viglongo, Rome: Laterza, Class Struggle. According to Marxist theory, war pits members of the working class from different nations against each other, all led by an officer class on behalf of vested capital. Early Italian socialists had access to La donna, a fortnightly journal founded in Venice in by Guadalberta Adelaide Beccari.

The bourgeoisie cared little for these same values as they applied to thousands of female workers in the unsanitary conditions of late nineteenth-century factories and sweatshops. Comprehensive legislation was passed in to protect female laborers; the new laws granted safety checks, maternity leave, mealtime breaks, and a max- imum of twelve working hours per day.

The veteran campaigner Anna Maria Mozzoni opposed protective legislation on the grounds that it turned women laborers into a subordinate class. Giuliana Morandini shows how poverty, work- place conditions, or the malice of relatives expose Italian working-class women to the risk of confinement in psychiatric hospitals.

Milan: Lazzari, ; Kuliscioff, Anna. Milan: Galli, ; Maraini, Dacia. Donne mie. Torino: Einaudi, ; Guiducci, Armanda. Due donne da buttare. Milan: Riz- zoli, ; Morandini, Giuliana. E allora mi hanno rinchiusa: testimonianze dal manicomio femminile. Milan: Bompiani, Boccaccio commences the tradition among male novellieri of freighting the word with connotations of female pandering, implying that comari might be enemies of chastity or bribable as go-betweens.

Here the various female characters—za Nina, za Peppa, cummari Rusidda, cummari Gesualda—support their husbands and sons from the sidelines, to which they have been banished by historical tradition and male gallantry. Comare is thus an interesting case of a word used differently by male and female authors, debased by a kind of patronizing sep- aratism and partially reclaimed when modern feminists developed their theory of affidamento fostering. See also: Bonding.


Bibliography: Cederna, Camilla. Oxford: Blackwell, ; Muraro, Luisa. Rome: Editori Riuniti, ; Vassalli, Sebastiano. Il cigno. Compiuta Donzella Thirteenth Century. The earliest documented female voice in Italian poetry is that of Compiuta Donzella. There is little bio- graphical information about her.

She lived in Florence in the thirteenth century. This sonnet is not just a profession of faith, but rather a dramatization of the only options open to women in medieval society. A cloistered life offered girls a freedom of which they were deprived in conjugal life; indeed, only by denying their femininity—to wit, their sexual and maternal functions—were women able to affirm their own identity.

Bibliography: Contini, Gianfranco. I poeti del Duecento, vol. Milan- Naples: Ricciardi, Copio Sullam, Sara ca. The intellectual accomplish- ments of Sara Copio Sullam attracted distinguished visitors to an academy at her home in the Venetian Ghetto. A scholar and a poet, she left a number of poems in scattered manuscripts. Born into a family of wealthy merchants at a time when the Venetian Ghetto was home to the renowned rabbi and scholar Leon Modena, Copio Sullam took an early interest in philosophy, languages Hebrew, Latin, Greek, and Spanish , music, astrology, and rabbinical history.

Her father encouraged her academic and cultural pursuits, as did her husband, Jacob Sullam, whom she married in Bibliography: Boccato, Carla. Ravenna: Longo Editore, Rome: Conforto-Cordero, Arslan, A.

Chemello, G. Venice: Eidos, A small number of courtesans also acquired fame as writers, solo singers, and musicians. This kind of courtesan was entirely dependent upon the economic support of male clients in exchange for sexual favors. In a society in which arranging a reputable marriage for a young woman had become increasingly, even prohib- itively, expensive as a result of the inflation of dowries, many young girls were introduced to this form of prostitution at a very young age.

The honest courtesan descended from the middle registers of society and forged a place for herself in male-dominated circles as a writer, musician, artist, and skilled conversationalist. A strategy of the honest courtesan was to take on the courtly graces of cultivated women by mimicking their dress, demeanor, and graces. She also enjoyed a measure of social and economic independence when com- pared to aristocratic women, who were prevented by their husbands and fathers from participating in public life.

She did have to enlist the protection of male patrons willing to defend her reputation as founded not only on sexual labor but also on honorable activities. An urban rather than court environment was crucial in order for the courtesan to build a career in male literary coteries and to be able to publish her works. Franco, a member of the middle register of Venetian society and the daughter of a procuress, was a major poet and a mem- ber of the prestigious literary salon of Domenico Venier — She accepted the terms of literary contest as a chal- lenge with bravura and courage. In her familiar letters, the Lettere familiari a diversi , she wrote as a moral and social counselor to a male elite and as a critic of mercenary and cruel love; she wrote to women as an ally in support of their freedom and spoke up for courtesans who were unjustly victimized by male aggression.

As a courtesan secretary to male patricians, Franco reclaims for women an epistolary discourse that is critical of unequal relations between men and women. The literary works of honest courtesans refashioned literary conventions to serve the concerns of women who had been silenced by male authority. Bibliography: Masson, Giorgina.

The Courtesans of the Italian Renaissance. Milan: Rizzoli, ; Lawner, Lynne. Lives of the Courtesans. Milan: Rizzoli, ; Bassanese, Fiora A. The Honest Courtesan. Since clothes have traditionally been markers of sexual difference and emblems of class, political position, and social status, the ex- amination of the varying evaluations and representations of cross-dressing al- lows an informative vantage point on questions that have been of great concern to feminism: What, at different times, has defined gender boundaries, gender relations, and traditional modes of masculinity and femininity?

In what way have sartorial choices manifested larger social, economic, and political discrim- inations? Cross-dressing has a long tradition. On the Greek stage, where the display of women was deemed offensive to common decency, men played female roles; cross-dressing episodes took place in the lives of the Greek heroes Achilles, Odysseus, and Hercules; cross-dressing was a feature of festivals, when societal barriers and strict gender roles were reversed the god Dionysus was conven- tionally believed to have been raised as a girl.

Playing with gender is an important literary theme, particularly in the case of Italian literature, which, born as love lyric, has often displayed the marked pro- clivity of male authors to talk about and through women. In his Autobiography, Benvenuto Cellini recounts in farcical details a dinner party he attended with a sixteen-year-old boy dressed as a woman. Masquerading and transvestitism were not limited to literary depictions, but extended to sixteenth- century sartorial practices, which prompted the promulgation of sumptuary laws throughout Italy.

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, as societal anxiety about homo- sexuality and mental illness escalated, cross-dressing began to be viewed as a pathology and was addressed by science. The criminologist Cesare Lombroso analyzed the case of a famous male cross- dresser, Virginio Mauri. Luigia Ciappi was photographed by Domenica del Corriere in in the uniform she wore to smuggle herself to the World War I frontline.

The rejection of attributes traditionally considered feminine, and in particular maternal, remained for many women a form of resistance against a society that continued to be male-dominated. With the political successes of the fem- inist movement in the s, this process of virile approximation has become uncommon, and feminist narrative, in particular, has displayed a much keener interest in the predicament and advancement of women than in their identifi- cation with a male standard. See also: Epic; Hermaphrodite; Homosexuality. Bibliography: Dekker, R. Van de Pol. Rome and Bari: Laterza, ; Garber, Marjorie.

Cross Dressing, Sex and Gender. Phil- adelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, Bibliography: Roda, Vittorio. Bologna: Boni, ; Klopp, Charles. Boston: Twayne, Dante Alighieri — A brief biography of this major poet is necessary, since his life and his writings were intimately entwined. The eldest son of a bourgeois Florentine family belonging to the then-defeated Guelph papal party, in his youth Dante witnessed the Guelph return to power at the expense of the Ghibelline imperial party. Dante married Gemma Donati in , and participated actively in Guelph politics.

His party fractured into White and Black factions, between whom strife was bloody: when the Black faction triumphed in , Florence was thrown into chaos and the White Guelphs, with whom Dante was aligned, were exiled. Dante himself was accused of graft and exiled in ; he was never able to return to Florence. His years in exile were productive if bitter ones. He wrote the De vulgari eloquentia, a treatise in Latin that champions the vernacular as a literary lan- guage, and the Convivio, a work in Italian that glosses his own lyric poems using detailed scholastic commentary; both works are incomplete.

The relevance of this corpus to feminist research is at first glance problematic. Beatrice in particular functions as a passive exemplary figure, whose virtue and beauty incite all who see her to charity and humility; she is invested with meaning by her male celebrant, rather than determining her own. On the other hand, these same texts have been the target of very pointed feminist analysis by Gayatri Spivak and Joy Hambuechen Potter. The Divine Comedy, the other work in which a female presence is funda- mental and problematic, offers a similarly limited spectrum for women.

A demo- graphic survey of the Comedy see Bergin, Kirkham identifies clusters of exemplary female figures. By far most of the figures whom the pilgrim en- counters and speaks to, however, are male. In Purgatorio a series of women figure as examples of vices and virtues, and as enigmatic visionary presences; but again the vast majority of the figures whom the pilgrim encounters is male.

Her arrival in Purgatorio 28 assigns her multiple symbolic values: as a specific love object whose influence is salvific rather than a temptation; as an exemplary Christian of innate goodness; as a mouthpiece for the will of God, who must filter and clarify the Logos in such a way that the human mind and eye can assimilate it; as a Muse in whose honor the entire Comedy is undertaken; and many others.

In Purgatorio her veiled and holy beauty stands in opposition to the exposed and rotting members of the false object of desire, the Siren in Purgatorio Even here, however, the female figures exemplary of the weakness of the flesh Paradiso 3 and those enjoying in perpetuity union with the Divine Paradiso 30 ff. In Paradiso too, the masculine population far outnumbers the women. Numbers are not everything, of course, and we should not read too much into the mere statistical distribution of the genders in the afterlife.

Bibliography: Bergin, Thomas. A Diversity of Dante. New Brunswick, N. Woman Earthly and Divine in the Comedy of Dante. Lexington, Ky. The Body of Beatrice. Ottawa: Dovehouse Editions, After her first short stories, published in several Italian newspapers, she wrote Nessuno torna indietro , a novel soon censored by the Fascist regime because of its subversive depiction of female emancipation. Quaderno proibito takes the same perspective in a different direction, presenting, through the secret diary of a middle-aged, middle-class housewife, the grim reality of wifehood and motherhood.

With La bambolona female empowerment takes a less feminist path: oriented by a male perspective, this novel portrays women as inherently cunning and deceptive. Bibliography: Nerenberg, Ellen. Ra- venna: Longo, ; Lombardi, Giancarlo. Originating from the influential writings of the contem- porary French philosopher Jacques Derrida, deconstruction inscribes itself in the poststructuralist theoretical tradition. Derrida unveils the arbi- trary nature of such values, denouncing the impossibility of the closure enacted by the philosophical establishment in its attempt to protect its own exclusive access to logic and meaning.

In its polemic against other schools of literary theory, deconstruction capitalizes on the plurality of meaning that derives from the slippery nature of the signifier. No text is a closed text and no reading is a final reading, being just a reductive act of silencing a series of conflicting voices. Deconstructive feminism has also managed to unveil the biased nature of many a critical reading that purportedly devoiced subversive feminine elements, which were present in texts of all periods.

Marilyn Migiel and Barbara Spackman are the two most important scholars of Italian literature who have espoused such a theoretical approach. The cen- tralization of what has been canonically considered as marginal constitutes a common point of departure in the work of both critics. Reinterpreting gender differences and subverting canonical categorization of centrality and marginality, both Migiel and Spackman uncover the presence of dissonant and conflicting forces subtly disguised under the au- thoritarian discourse of those who have often been recognized as the fathers of Italian literature.

Bibliography: Johnson, Barbara. Douglas Atkins and Michael Johnson. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, Feminism and Deconstruction. London: Routledge, Devotional Works.

Pasquale Pistone

Devotional works consist of books of prayers offered to Christians in order to help them develop and lead a pious life. Usually written by men, these works have sought to instill in women a particular form of wor- ship, piety, and conduct that the Church a patriarchal institution deems spe- cifically appropriate for women. The character and structure of devotional works addressed to women have greatly changed over the past eight centuries from the laudas such as that written by St.

Francis to St. Clare and her nuns of the thirteenth century and the inspirational prayers of St. Catherine in the fourteenth century to contem- porary collections of prayers, reflections, and meditations. Devotional works normally originated in monasteries, then spread outside the cloister, and became widely accepted by women in convents. As literacy spread outside the convent, these works became increasingly popular also among lay women. That women easily appropriated this form of literature may be explained by the intimate nature of devotional works, which are based on those qualities that have long been considered typically feminine in the patriarchal western world.

These works, in fact, evoke sentiment rather than intellect, contemplation rather than rational thought. Francis — in vernacular for the sisters of the Ordo Santi Damiani, an order of nuns who followed St. Clare — This spontaneous and personal prayer, which could be con- sidered a devotional work in nuce, encouraged these nuns to live modest, sober, and simple lives in order to be one day next to the Virgin Mary.

Such a tendency toward a private and personal form of worship may have been promoted by the male need to banish women from the public sphere, where in earlier times some of them either belonging to tertiary orders or pinzochere had raised their voices to challenge patriarchal constructions. At home they could spend their time praying to the Virgin Mary, a chaste, obedient and self- sacrificing female image.

The Book of Hours, which contained prayers to the Madonna, was, in fact, one of the cherished properties of any wealthy woman. In the fifteenth century St. In this book, which gives directions on how and when to pray, the Office of the Blessed Virgin Ufficio della Donna has a prominent place. Following the Council of Trent — and during the baroque period, devotional works tended to emphasize external and visible elements of piety.

Although religious piety required such devotional practices from both sexes, women were always more receptive to them and more easily influenced by the proposed examples of Christian virtues. The Ave Maria, Salve Regina, rosaries, novenas, and litanie lauretane were practiced with promptitude by pious women. Although always present throughout the centuries, the devotion to the Virgin Mary reached its apex in the nineteenth century, with the proclamation of the Immaculate Conception of Mary by Pope Pius IX and the apparition of the Virgin Mary at Lourdes, a small village in France destined to attract pilgrims until our own time.

The Virgin becomes a tender and compassionate mother, a model of sanctity to imitate as opposed to the sinful Eve. The twentieth century witnesses a further feminization of devotional practices. Although the devotion to the Virgin Mary, whose bodily assumption into heaven was proclaimed a dogma of faith in , still plays a major function in Chris- tian devotional practices, her model is accepted less readily by contemporary Italian women.

Devotional works written by men for women, or by women for their own edification, still await a thorough study. Paris: Beauchesne, — Mostra documentaria e iconografica. Ilaria Porciani. Siena: Department of History, University of Siena, Rome: Herder Editrice e Libreria, Sexes and Genealogies. Diary and Epistolary Novel. Ever since the birth of the novel the diary and epistolary genres have shared common roots and peculiarities. During the eighteenth century one of the fathers of the British novel, Samuel Richardson, produced two of the most representative works of these genres, Pamela and Clarissa , at the same time that Daniel Defoe wrote Robinson Crusoe and Pierre Choderlos de Laclos penned Liaisons Dangereuses The contiguity of these two genres, both of which require an autodiegetic nar- ration that excludes the interference of the author if not as an imaginary editor, makes itself vividly felt in the writings of some of the most accredited contem- porary Italian women writers.

The fine line that differen- tiates the two genres, delimiting their own independent identities, is constituted by the presence or absence of an addressee internal to the diegesis—a character who receives and reads the letters, or to whom the diary is explicitly dedicated. Locus of avant-garde enterprises and direct attacks to the paternalistic establishment, the diary and epistolary novel constitutes one of the least researched areas of study in twentieth-century Italian literature.

See also: Autobiography. Bibliography: Abbott, H. Diary Fiction: Writing As Action. The Diary Novel. Form and Function in the Diary Novel. Totowa, N. Chicago: Uni- versity of Chicago Press, Diotima is a community of women formed in Verona in by a group united by the love of philosophy and by the pride of being women and feeling like women; it includes philosophers and teachers of philosophy, aca- demics and nonacademics.

They hence decided to give precedence to the theoretical foundations and method necessary for a female philosophy to be. This, in their view, can only be grounded on a new concept of sexual difference. As a consequence, the Diotima studies turned to problems of language, to the relationship between language and body, and to other theoretical issues of concern to Italian feminists in the s.

Taking note of how women have always been forced to think and write in a language alien to them, and being incapable of recognizing themselves in the universal subject of traditional philosophy—which per se excludes the female voice—the Diotima philosophers investigated the possibility of arriving at a new language and of elaborating a new system of thought. The creation of a female language gives new meanings to everyday parlance. According to Lonzi, women must first liberate themselves as women and then, only then, accede to parity of rights and opportunities with men.

Luisa Muraro has developed this concept theoretically. Women will realize themselves only by knowing themselves as women, by making themselves known to society as women, and by remaining faithful to their female essence. Diotima prac- tices an organizational structure that functions on both horizontal and vertical lines. While stressing sisterhood, Diotima nonetheless recognizes preeminent figures of authority in the group. Egalitarianism, in their view, harbors the dan- ger of sterility and of similarity of thought. In this context, the mother-daughter type of relationship is being rescued and revitalized.

This bond, long forsaken in name of equality, has now become a relationship that allows for disparity, a bonding that ensures reciprocal solidarity and spiritual growth. It functions as a model for freedom and personal evolution. Dio- tima. Mettere al mondo il mondo. Milan: Tartaruga Edizioni, ; ———. Il pensiero della differenza sessuale. Milan: Tartaruga Edizioni, ; Muraro, Luisa. Tre lezioni sulla differenza sessuale. Italian women writers, however, have extensively dealt with disease. Disease is an expression of such vulnerability, which is rooted in the feminine side of the self.

Manicomio primavera , also by Sereni, is a collection of short stories narrating the experience of several mothers of mentally dysfunctional children. Although mostly dealing with male authors, this remarkable study is done from a feminist perspective. Schie- sari advances the idea that melancholia is a glorified form of depression recurrent in literary men, and a cultural appropriation on their part of the mourning role traditionally belonging to women.

By this appropriation men channel depression into forms of creativity, while women are left in a dehistoricized position, whereby they are denied the expression of the loss of their own subjectivity. Cultural studies have shown that women were expropriated of the cure of disease. During the Renaissance female healers who, in earlier times, had gained access to education in medical schools or had been allowed to practice various alternative forms of healing, began to be persecuted as witches.

Accepted as therapists during the Middle Ages, especially where female health was concerned, women healers were prevented from ex- ercising their activity and were persecuted when regular doctors, in turn threat- ened by the Inquisition, strove to give their profession an official status. The exclusion of women from the treatment and management of their own health had dire social and cultural consequences.

Already deprived of the property of their own bodies, women also lost the right to its representation in literary form for many centuries to come. See also: Gynecology; Hysteria; Medicine. Donne senza Rinascimento. Milan: Eleuthera, ; Schiesari, Juliana. La promessa di guarigione. Malattie e curatori in antico regime. Bari: Laterza, ; Cavarero, Adriana. Corpo in figure. Milan: Feltrinelli, The divorce law and its confirmation in a landmark ref- erendum marked the beginning of the direct involvement of the Italian feminist movement in the legislative process.

In a head-on confrontation with the Chris- tian Democratic Dc regime, which had governed Italy since the end of World War II, the divorce victory secured a high degree of political leverage for the movement.