RELIGION IN THE ENLIGHTENMENT STATE

Concordia tra la società e la religione ossia Difesa del culto cattolico contro chi lo calunnia in contrasto colla società. Opera del Cittadino M.G.T. raccomandata alle podestà costituite del popolo Cisalpino. Seconda edizione.

Milan, Cesare Orena nella stamperia Malatesta, 1798.

8vo, pp. 198; clean and crisp throughout; in later cloth-backed marbled boards, spine lettered in gilt; light wear to extremities, joints cracked, but internally a good copy.

£385

Approximately:
US $467€455

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Concordia tra la società e la religione ossia Difesa del culto cattolico contro chi lo calunnia in contrasto colla società. Opera del Cittadino M.G.T. raccomandata alle podestà costituite del popolo Cisalpino. Seconda edizione.

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Rare second edition, printed in the same year as the equally rare first, of this curious defence of religion in the light of the constitution of the Cisalpine Republic, in which the author seeks to demonstrate the compatibility of Catholicism with the Enlightenment ideals of the French Revolution and its aftermath.

Mascherana, who was a canon at San Babila in Milan and the author of several works on matters ranging from theology to aesthetics (sometimes using an anagrammatic pseudonym), argues that the people, even in the light of the new politics, can derive many advantages from religion, and that reason, although it can shed light on many matters, is not sufficient for knowledge of the truth. However, the first human duties, Mascherana argues, derive from natural law, and it is this that informs the rights set out in the Cisalpine constitution: freedom; equality, security; property. Analysing these rights (and their associated duties) Mascherana draws on the work of Rousseau, Montesquieu, Bayle, and Voltaire.

Mascherana was to follow up on the themes of this work with his two-volume Concordia della fede colla ragione per convincere che le idee soprannaturali non sono in opposizione colle idee naturali of 1806.

OCLC records only one copy outside Italy, at the University of Barcelona, with a further copy of the first edition at Ticino.

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