«Sophia» XIII (2021)

Table of Contents and Abstracts: Issues 1 and 2

«Sophia», Year XIII (2021), Issue 1


What eye to look at reality (A. Clemenzia - M. Martino)




Politics as proximity: a hypothetical reading of Chiara Lubich (Pasquale Ferrara)

Abstract: The essay, historically placing the experience of Chiara Lubich, investigates the precious legacy of Lubich in the political reading of an epochal passage (the transition from “raison d’Etat” to “raison du monde”) to be grasped, deepened, developed, realized. A radical overturning of perspective, where the emphasis on national identities,sheltered from the ever-present risk of nationalism and particularism, is not in contradiction with the serene and constructive recognition of the identities of others. Far from configuring contrasts and fragmentation, this “dialogic” identity is the foundation of a world community enriched precisely by the encounter of diversities.

Keywords: Chiara Lubich – Policy – Dialogue – Global studies – Politics

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XIII (2021-1) 13-27

Chiara Lubich and Theravada monks: considerations on a prophetic dialogue (Roberto Catalano)

Abstract: In line with other previous studies, we propose an historic and phenomenological examination of the spiritual friendship between Chiara Lubich and a group of theravada Buddhist monks from Thailand. From this experience we can perceive the emergence of a prophetic style of dialogue.

Keywords: Christianity – Buddhism – Dialogue – Prophecy

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XIII (2021-1) 29-47

A Story that "Verges on the Improbable": Cyril of Alexandria and Chiara Lubich on the suffering of Jesus on the Cross (Declan O’Byrne)

Abstract: This article offers a “Cyrillian” reading of some difficult texts from Chiara Lubich’s Paradise ’49, texts which initially seem to contradict one another. They state that, “it is God who suffers”, on the cross, while at the same time affirming that ”as God, Jesus does not suffer”. By “Cyrillian reading I mean a simple but illuminating paralleling of the way the two authors – Chiara Lubich and Cyril of Alexandria – deal with the issue of God’s suffering in Christ. An underlying continuity is observed in these two author’s affirmation of the paradox of the Incarnation. For the Patriarch of Alexandria, Christ “suffers impassibly”, something similar can be found in the Catholic mystic from Trent. The resolution of this paradox lies in understanding God as love in the thought of these two authors..

Keywords: Incarnation – Divine impassibility – Economy of salvation

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XIII (2021-1) 49-61

“Consummati in unum”: at the source of Chiara Lubich's original mystical interpretation (Michel Bronzwaer)

Abstract: Chiara Lubich, originator of the “spirituality of unity” and foundress of a Movement entirely dedicated to unity, expressed her ideal, particularly in her early letters and writings (1945-1949), with the words “consumare in uno”, going back to the words of the Gospel of John “consummati in unum” (Jn. 17,23). Yet, the verb as used by Lubich, especially when phrased in a reflexive voice, is not without ambiguity. It is to be understood as a conflated term, covering two concepts and two spiritual attitudes in one: “to bring to completion” (“consummate”) and “to use up” (“to consume”). Lubich’s highly original use of the verb “consume” can be explained taking into account that the statements of this contemporary mystic are the result of an exceptional collective experience of unity and at the same time of a new comprehension of Jesus’ words of forsakenness on the cross.

Keywords: Consummati in unum – Chiara Lubich – Spirituality of Unity – Jesus Forsaken – Lubich’s early letters

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XIII (2021-1) 63-74

The Creation of the Universe from Nothingness by Laozi from the perspective of Nothingness in the Christian Tradition (Philipp K.T. Hu)

Abstract: On the occasion of the confirmation of a Professorship Honoris Causa from University College of Literature of Dharma Drum Mountain in 2019, Piero Coda gave a lecture on the comparison between the Nothingness of Buddha and Christian tradition. In the description of Christian tradition, he explored two main arguments: the first argument is around the phrase in the Bible: “from nothing he creates”; the second argument is “the nothingness out of love” within the Trinity, among the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Based on these two arguments, this article offers a similar comparison about the concept of creation in the book named Dao De Jing of Laozi.

Keywords: Creation – Laozi – Chinese philosophy – Nothingness – Trinitarian ontology

Read full article in English: «Sophia» XIII (2021-1) 75-92


Bernhard Welte and the "Place" of Nothingness: a perspective for the dialogue between West and East (Haoyang Fu)

Abstract: Can Western thought and that of the East encounter one another in the “locus” of Nothing? As the product of a master’s thesis in Trinitarian Ontology at Sophia University Institute, this article explores such a possibility starting from the re-semanticization of Nothing in Bernhard Welte’s thought, drawing from his sources in Thomas Aquinas’s apophatic theology, in Meister Eckhart’s mysticism and in Martin Heidegger’s philosophy. The Weltian synthesis proposed in Religionsphilosophie taps into the mystery of God starting from the mystery of Nothing, identifying personality and divinity in relationship with revelation in Jesus Christ; in Das Licht des Nichts, the possibility of an encounter with the oriental tradition is opened up in the daoist wu 無 which is expressed in the wuwei 無為 (non-action).

Keywords: Metaphysics – Bernhard Welte – Chinese thought

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XIII (2021-1) 93-108



Munditia cordis. The way of negation in the love of God according to Thomas Aquinas (Anna Sarmenghi)

Abstract: The desire of God is always characterized by our limited experience and the communion with God requires to purify human’s mind and heart. The article proposes the theme of love and munditia cordis in the Summa Theologiae of Thomas Aquinas: the first paragraph investigates what amor means and its connection to knowledge, the second one studies the role of negatio/remotio to reach a real communion with God in Christ through the Holy Spirit.

Keywords: Thomas Aquinas – Negation – Purification – Apophasis – Love

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XIII (2021-1) 109-121



Around Marco Martino's essay, "Unexpectedly. The way of 'not', starting from Plato" (Città Nuova, 2020)

Abstract: The forum is a collection of contributions stemming from the presentation of the Tracce series promoted by Sophia University Institute together with the Città Nuova Publishing House. Its first volume, authored by Marco Martino, is entitled D’improvviso. La via del “non”, a partire da Platone (Unexpectedly: the way of “not”, starting with Plato). The conference held on 28 October 2020 included Massimo Donà, Francesco Valagussa, Carmelo Meazza and Piero Coda who dealt with the book’s central topic – investigating a negativity in the unexpected experience of the moment – ἐξαίφνης, a negativity which is not defective; on the contrary it offers the possibility for new unpredictable creations. In the longstanding fruitful dialogue between philosophy and theology, the “not” of ἐξαίφνης is also that of ἐπέκεινα – the paschal agapic not of being in as much as it is trinitarian and trinitizing.

Keywords: Plato – theoretical philosophy – Exaiphnes – Event

Read Forum section in Italian: «Sophia» XIII (2021-1) 123-154

Massimo Donà, Aporie dell’istante. La radicale rigorizzazione dell’orizzonte neoplatonico nelle palpitanti pagine di Marco Martino (124-134)

Carmelo Meazza, Relazione e fede. Note su «D’improvviso. La via del “non”, a partire da Platone» di Marco Martino (135-142)

Francesco Valagussa, Lo sradicamento del “non”. Incontro predestinato e tensione lacerante tra platonismo e cristianesimo (143-150)

Piero Coda, μετάβασις εἰς ἄλλον λόγον (151-154)


«Sophia», Year XIII (2021), Issue 2  


Trinitarian Ontology and the Reform of Thinking (Piero Coda)




Rosmini Maestro and Witness of Intellectual Charity (Umberto Muratore)

Abstract: Rosmini receives confirmation from a Pope that his mission consists in bringing men to religion through reason. He calls this mission intellectual charity. He chooses philosophical thought as a starting point and writes about a hundred works that cover practically the entire encyclopedia of knowledge. The purpose of his research and reflections is to demonstrate that science does not go against faith, but seeks faith to complete itself. Thus natural wisdom can come to become supernatural wisdom. Today he, for the Catholic Church, in addition to being a teacher of thought is also a witness of the truths he taught.

Keywords: Rosmini – Intellectual Charity – Persuasion Principle – Christian Wisdom – Ontology

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XIII (2021-2) 175-187

Trinitarian Ontology and the Division of Being: a Rosminian Reflection (John Milbank)

Abstract: Rosmini articulated a Trinitarian ontology for which being, thought and ethical reciprocally contain each other in terms of a ‘grammatical’ propositionality. Since this order exists even in God it provides a solution to the problem of how being, though not a genus, can be divided. However Rosmini also provided a Scotist solution to this problem in terms of being as an abstract essence. The second solution is inconsistent with the first and should be rejected along with kindred purely phenomenological and semi-ontologist readings. The first, Trinitarian solution itself only works if it is modified in terms of analogy, paradox and a radically neo-Chalecedonian Christology.

Keywords: Ideology – Theosophy – Being – Grammar – Plotinus – Containment – Category – Paradox

Read full article in English: Sophia» XIII (2021-2) 189-231

Identity 'as' Difference: "non-dialectical" negation in the Rosminian God (Massimo Donà)

Abstract: Rosmini manages to rethink the relationship between unity and multiplicity in God in a “dizzying” way. He confronts a topic already admirably treated by Augustine and Aquinas, but does so with very novel and surprising implications. He allows us to rethink the extraordinary speculative potency contained in the Trinitarian mystery, and in so doing intrinsically “subverts” the meaning of much of the Christian theological tradition. More specifically, the rapport “One and the Many” is rethought by Rosmini in strict relationship with that which seems to connect “thought-and-being” and in his articolation of this relationship, he leaves admirable pages for us to ponder.

Keywords: Unity – Multiplicity – Being – Thought – Relation – Trinity

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XIII (2021-2) 233-247

The Unity and Totality of Philosophy: Antonio Rosmini's "Prefaces" to the "Philosophical Pamphlets" (Lorena Catuogno)

Abstract: The chief aim of this research is to examine the view that Antonio Rosmini formulates of the philosophy in his two Prefaces to his own Opuscoli filosofici, published in the years 1827-1828, which are the earliest writings of his philosophical production. The analysis of these Prefaces will highlight that Rosmini intends to renovate the philosophy since his earliest works and, in particular, he singles out some pivotal characteristics of the philosophical thought: unity, totality, and love.

Keywords: Rosmini – Unity -Totality – Philosophy – Love

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XIII (2021-2) 249-260

The Essence of the Human Soul in Rosminian Theory (Samuele Francesco Tadini)

Abstract: Why is it important to bring to light the Rosminian conception of the essence of the human soul? Because only by taking this problem into consideration it is possible to impose a rigorous discourse on the nature of human being. Man, in fact, is placed at the center of philosophical and theological investigations, because he is the “privileged place of a metaphysical questioning”. He is subject and object. He is the “Ego” that pronounces himself and relates to others and to God, but he could do nothing if he did not exist, that is, if the soul of the speaker did not express himself in his existence.

Keywords: Psychology – Metaphysics – Rosmini – Human Soul – Concrete Man

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XIII (2021-2) 261-273

Antonio Rosmini and the Italian Method (Fulvio De Giorgi)

Abstract: The essay reconstructs the historical path that leads Rosmini to accept Galileo’s Method: the method of observing facts. Rosmini’s philosophical research followed this method, later seen by Rosmini himself as the Italian Method. This perspective has had important and lasting developments in the pedagogical and educational fields.

Keywords: Rosmini – Galilei – Experimental Method – Italian Educational Method – Methodology

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XIII (2021-2) 275-288

A Philosophy of Education for Mankind: the actuality of the Rosminian Pedagogical Project (Paolo Bonafede)

Abstract: Starting from the positioning of education in the Rosminian theory – the “invisible engine” of Roveretan’s philosophy – the author identified the elements of continuity between education and ontology, anthropology, morality and theology. From this integration of disciplines emerges the pedagogy of being – in particular in his earlier works – the principle of graduality and the multifaceted structure of the Method, which represent the most significant and current outcomes of Rosminian philosophy of education.

Keywords: Rosmini – Pedagogy of being – Gradualness – Method – Philosophy of Education

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XIII (2021-2) 289-301

Self Oblivion and the Person: Nédoncelle interpreter of Rosmini (Emanuele Pili)

Abstract: This paper is divided into three sections and intends to study Nédoncelle’s interpretation of Rosmini. (1) In the first part, the essay outlines some essential lines of Nédoncelle’s intellectual path. (2) In the second part, it highlights the most significant aspects of Nédoncelle’s Rosminian reading (in particular: the distinction between person and I; the crossing of the self-oblivion as the key to the conscious event). (3) Finally, in the third section, it proposes an evaluation of Nédoncelle’s interpretation.

Keywords: Nédoncelle – Rosmini – Person – Intersubjectivity – Ontology

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XIII (2021-2) 303-312

Christianity as a Theocratic Society in Rosmini's Philosophy of Law (Alberto Baggio)

Abstract: In the conception of Christianity and its image as a theocratic society, as described by Rosmini in his Philosophy of Law, the main thoughts of Roveretans converge. Theocratic society is no more than the society of mankind, but in a state of perfection. From an ontological analysis of man, Rosmini leads us to see how man is “founded on high” and, therefore, so is the society of mankind, which, through the mediation of Christ, becomes the Church, which, increases its degrees of perfection according to its adherence to the divine archetype.

Keywords: Theocratic society – Church – Philosophy of Law – Christ – Archetype

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XIII (2021-2) 313-325

A Civil Economy of the Free Market: new perspectives on the economic philosophy of Antonio Rosmini(Markus Krienke)

Abstract: This article develops a method for interpretating Rosmini’s economic thought. It is evident from a brief review of older and current literature that there is a need to understand Rosmini less from the perspective of ‘paradigms” (Smith, civil economics) of which he was undoubtedly familiar and more from his vision of post-revolutionary Italian and europen society. For this reason his economic thought is more similar to that of Hegel who pursues a similar end, and with whom he shares the need to distinguish between moral reasoning and the social-ethical consideration of economics. Contrary to prior claims, Rosmini has a fairly standard articulated economic thought, as the second part of the article seeks to illustrate, without overlooking the moral dimensions of rosminian economics, thus contributing to the question of Rosmini’s liberalism sui generis.

Keywords: Rosmini – Hegel – Civil Economics

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XIII (2021-2) 327-342

The Relational and Trinitarian Aesthetics of Antonio Rosmini (Fernando Bellelli)

Abstract: The article determines the coordinates of Rosmini’s relational and Trinitarian aesthetics. Having described the terms of the issue and setting the reference to the Rosminian opus and criticism, the coefficients of the interaction between Rosmini’s reflection on the person as the “relationship and subsisting right”, the Trinity and the current state of research are provided, including the criterion of comparison on the last Schelling. What is being argued is an approach to the theme concerning moral imagination, the principle and the orders of cognition, affection and human dignity.

Keywords: Aesthetics – Affection – Cognition – Dignity – Relation – Revelation

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XIII (2021-2) 343-355

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