CURRICULUM OF ANTONIO MARIA BAGGIO
LIFE AND STUDY PATHS
I was born in Cittadella (Padua) on January the 25th, 1956. I am married, I have 4 children and 2 grandchildren. You can find me (or you can try to find me) at Sophia University Institute, Via San Vito 28, Loppiano, 50063 Figline e Incisa Valdarno (Florence) Italy; phone 00.39.055.9051500; firstname.lastname@example.org .
I graduated in Philosophy in Padua with a dissertation on The thought of Karl Marx in the contemporary Catholic critique, (published in 1980 in the book: Da Marx a Cristo, Città Nuova Editrice, Rome; reviewed and published again in 1990 in Nuova Umanità, available in the website) with Prof. Enrico Berti as rapporteur. Erico Berti and Franco Chiereghin were my main mentors during my years in Padua, particularly, with regards to the Aristotelian and Hegelian themes respectively. I also had professors like Umberto Curi and Giuseppe Duso. The great political debates of the time had a strong influence on the academic studies. I attended courses from the Faculty of Political Sciences with professors like Antonio Negri (Doctrine of the State, compared Politics), Luciano Ferrari Bravo, Sergio Bologna (they represent one of the main expressions of the neomarxism of the time) and, most notably, the historian Aurelio Macchioro (economical history). A part of my course of studies took place in Rome, at “La Sapienza” University, with academics such as Nicolao Merker, Lucio Colletti, Antonio Capizzi, Massimo Finoia, Vittorio Somenzi and Emilio Garroni. In Rome I use to study at the “Center for Marxist Studies” of prof. Gustav Wetter SJ, in the library of the Pontifical Gregorian University. I owe much also to the genius and patience of prof. Paul-Dominique Dognin OP, with whom I had more than one long conversation at Pontifical University St. Thomas.
Between 1975 and 1978 I also attended the Faculty of Theology of the Pontifical Lateran University, finding education in philosophical and theological areas that are not discussed in the State University, taking about twenty exams of the old undergraduate course.
In 1987-88 I obtained the License in Philosophy at the Pontifical Gregorian University with a personalized course of study, under the guide of prof. Salvino Biolo. Those years opened me to the thought of Augustin (mainly thanks to Salvino Biolo himself) and Thomas (prof. José Antonio Izquierdo Labeaga) and I was introduced to Science of Religion by prof Giovanni Magnani and prof. Mariasusai Dhavamony.
A few years later, I obtained the Doctorate in Philosophy (2001-2005) at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas, in Rome, with a thesis on the philosophical component of the Christian Social Doctrine, rapporteur prof. Alfred Wilder, and published with the title Etica ed economia. Verso un paradigma di fraternità. (Città Nuova Editrice, Roma 2005). During my doctoral studies, I particularly appreciated the lectures on ancient philosophy of prof. Bernard T. Vinaty and prof. Françoise Lamoureux.
Giuseppe Maria Zanghì was crucial figure throughout my education, and particularly between 1975 and 1978, when I lived with him at the “Centro Gen”, the central organism of the Gen Movement, the youth part of the Focolari Movement. The relationship with him became deeper and deeper until his death, in January the 23th, 2015.
I taught for a few years in the high schools of Rome and fulfilled the military service (1978-1983). I left teaching to join the editorial staff of the fortnightly magazine “Città Nuova”, focusing on Culture and Politics until 2007. I was special envoy for Città Nuova in several countries like the Soviet Union, German Democratic Republic, Czechoslovakia, Poland, France, Egypt and United States. The editor, Guglielmo Boselli, succeeded in bringing me out of the “ivory tower” of philosophical technicalities, making my writing more palatable for our readers. Gino Lubich, who honored me with his friendship, reminded me almost every day what he had learned in turn from Davide Lajolo, on the editing board of the newspaper “L’Unità”, in post-war Milan: whatever you are writing, write it so that a blue collar can read it! It wasn’t just about “writing technique”, it was about understanding something deeply, in order to share it simply. Another reference point in Città Nuova was Gabriele Marsili, who worked at the formatting and illustration of my articles at least as much as I worked at writing them, and saw me through many rough times. All the articles are scanned and available on the website.
In April 2007 I left the editing team of “Città nuova” to become editor of journal “Nuova Umanità”, until 2014. I had previously worked with “Nuova Umanità” as editing secretary under Giuseppe Maria Zanghì, since the preparatory work to the journal in 1978.
Along with my career in journalism, I carried on with my academic studies. In 1992 I received a call from the Pontifical Gregorian University: from prof. Giovanni Magnani (for the Institute for Religious Sciences) and from prof. Peter Henrici (for the Faculty of Philosophy). I lectured “Social Ethics”, and that was my main academic teaching during my 16 years at the Gregorian. Giovanni Magnani was my mentor there; he was more than a mere professor: he was an initiator, a man of the Spirit, a fighter. The Rector of the Gregorian was Fr. Giuseppe Pittau, a great soul who taught me important things. I am grateful to the Gregorian for teaching me the “trade”, but even more so for allowing me to meet men like the these. I worked with the Institute for Religious Studies until 2002, then I joined the Faculty of Philosophy. During this time, the most relevant academic achievement was the design and realization – with my friends prof. Sandro Barlone SJ and prof. Giorgia Salatiello – of “Laikos”, a new two-years academic course in Interdisciplinary studies of the Institute for Religious Studies; within this project, I directed the two-years Master in “Public Ethics”.
At the end of the AY 2008, I left the Gregorian to teach at Sophia University Institute in Loppiano (Florence), working to its foundation, following the will of Chiara Lubich. This institute is the academic expression of the “Scuola Abbà”, the interdisciplinary study center initiated by Chiara in 1990, that I joined – for the Political Sciences – in 1998. In this context I developed my current research topic: the political implications of the idea of fraternity.
Surely, many other things happened to me between 1978 and 2008; and if you want to know more details are found in other parts of this web site. However, I will now touch upon the following topics:
1 -my main fields of study;
2- some experiences and some aspects of my public engagement.
1) Marxism and critique of the ideology
The research began in the historical context of the 70s in Italy and Europe; those were years of very hearted ideological and political exchange, and rarely it was purely academic. At the time, the main interest was the analysis of Marxism; my study was aimed both to the theoretical aspects, as well as the practices inspired by the political ideology. With time, it followed a greater interest for the critique of the ideological forms of thought and for the relationship between politics and ethics. The teaching of a subject such as “Structure and critique of ideological thinking and of new ideologies”, created at the Sophia University Institute, is an expression of this line of research.
My first notable work on the matter is Da Marx a Cristo (Città Nuova Editrice, Rome 1980, pp.181). The speculative part of this work- after revision and correction- was published again ten years later with a new title (Per la critica dell’ideologia. La critica cattolica a Karl Marx. Saggi di Lettura), in a volume dealing with the crisis of the east-europeans socialist regimes: ll travaglio dell’Est europeo, special issue of “Nuova Umanità” XII (69-70, 1990) pp.180.
Other works arose from my interest in political philosophy, very often starting from the current state of affairs and investigating the theoretical roots of a given problem. Among the works on terrorism and Italian political issues: Sulla storia della lotta armata, “Nuova Umanità” 51 (1987) 97-105; Dopo il ’68: dimensioni dell’agire politico, “Nuova Umanità” 62 (1989) 3-16; Il partito di ispirazione cristiana in Italia. Un problema morale, “Nuova Umanità” 62 (1989) 31-56; I cattolici nella politica italiana. Un contributo metodologico per il discernimento, “Nuova Umanità” 101 (1995), pp. 45-58 [the revised text was published at the same time by the Conferenza Episcopale Italiana: Intervento sull’impegno socio-politico dei credenti, in Conferenza Episcopale Italiana, Il Vangelo della carità, ispirazione centrale e unificante del convegno ecclesiale (Palermo 1995), Quaderno n. 3, Rome 1995, pp. 45-53].
2) Ideologies and symbols
Studying the foundations of the political doctrines, opened up, at a certain point, two lines of investigation.
The first one studies the role of symbolic language and thought in the original narratives of different cultures, and their presence within the political discourse. In time, I understood the importance and depth of this relationship, in which the contents of the original archetypes of civilizations are manifested and actualized. In this view, I studied some aspects of the esoteric and gnostic contemporary thought, deepening the study of ideological thought also in its applications outside of politics strictly speaking, namely those that involve the religious and social aspects. In this view, confronting René Guénon, one of the main esoteric thinkers of the XX century, proved to be very important. This confrontation lead to a study in two parts: René Guénon e il cristianesimo. Considerazioni su una gnosi contemporanea, “Nuova Umanità” 54 (1987) 25-46; and René Guénon e il cristianesimo. Ermeneutica dei simboli e realizzazione spirituale, “Nuova Umanità” 67 (1990) 47-74.
Later, I applied the tools developed studying Guénon the analysis – from the ideological point of view – of the a contemporary form of esotericism, fraught with relevant consequences on social ethics: the New Age. L’ideologia New Age, in E. Fizzotti, M. Fuss, P. Vanzan, A. M. Baggio, La dolce seduzione dell’Acquario, LAS, Roma 1996, pp.103-149. In the book Il Nome dell’altro. Percorsi nella cultura del consumo, Città Nuova, Roma 1995, pp. 136, I analyze the penetration of the ideological dimension – to the detriment of ethical one – in the daily behavior of the masses; this phenomenon also presents an aspect regarding the cognitive faculties, as underlined in: Intelligenza e simbolo: un approccio filosofico, in La Vergine del latte. Dal presimbolico al simbolico, edited by L. Ancona, E. De Rosa, C. Fischetti, Cosmopoli, Bologna 1996, pp. 91-106. (Atti del Congresso Internazionale su “Il passaggio dal pre-simbolico al simbolico. La modulazione della sofferenza somatopsichica nell’età evolutiva quale premessa per la difesa dei diritti del bambino“, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Roma).
3) Social Ethics and Christian Social Doctrine
Deepening the studies of the critique of marxism and, more generally, of the ideological thought, eventually demanded me to pursue a non-ideological view of society and of social affairs. This research line on social ethics and the christian social doctrine was developed starting from the 1980s. The first result was the book Lavoro e cristianesimo. Profilo storico e problemi, Città Nuova, Roma 1988, pp. 174, this work was followed by many other articles during the 1990s. The studies of the 1980s and 1990s are synthesized in two books: Lavoro e dottrina sociale cristiana. Dalle origini al Novecento, Città Nuova, Roma 2005, pp. 245; and Etica ed economia. Verso un paradigma di fraternità, Città Nuova, Roma 2005, pp. 270. At the same time Economia e Civiltà was published. This is a multi-media product dealing with the contents of social-economical ethics, using the typical language of audio-video broadcasting. It consists of 4 DVD containing 19 lectures and speeches from 40 experts on disciplines related to economical ethics. This multi-media work is an expression of the innovative educational experience developed by the “Scuole di formazione all’impegno sociale e politico” (Schools for the education of social and political engagement) of “Federazione Res nova”. More studies on the Christian social doctrine: Il ritorno dell’etica: una lettura ragionata della crisi, in A. M. Baggio, L. Bruni, P. Coda, La crisi economica. Appello a una nuova responsabilità, Città Nuova, Roma 2009, pp. 11-38; La Caritas in veritate e il pensiero della complessità, in “Nuova Umanità” XXXII (2010/4-5) 190-191, pp. 477-492; I “principi non negoziabili”: verità e strumentalizzazioni, in “Nuova Umanità” XXXV (2013/2) 206, pp. 135-152; In cammino col Dio pericoloso. La Chiesa trasformante di papa Francesco, in “Nuova Umanità” XXXV (2013/4-5) 208-209, pp. 399-420.
4) Fraternity and politics
Another aspect of my interest in the foundations of the political doctrines was developed on the borderline between political theology and political philosophy, with works like Trinità e politica. Riflessione su alcune categorie politiche alla luce della rivelazione trinitaria, in Abitando la Trinità, edited by P. Coda e L. Zak, Città Nuova, Rome 1998, pp. 173-236 (available also in “Nuova Umanità”, XIX (1997/6) 114, pp. 727-797); Verità e politica, “Nuova Umanità” XXII (2000/3-4) 129-130, pp.333-356 (english version: “Truth and Politics: The Loss of Authoritativeness in Contemporary Politics,” Claritas: Journal of Dialogue and Culture: Vol. 1 : No. 1 , Article 6. Available at: http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/claritas/vol1/iss1/6 ).
Furthermore, my research took a new direction by studying some categories considered foundational to the political thought, namely “fraternity”. On this topic, one may refer to the most recent publications on fraternity: Il principio dimenticato. Percorsi e prospettive della fraternità nella riflessione politologica contemporanea, Città Nuova, Rome 2007; La fraternidad antagonista. La interpretación freudiana y la fundación de la sociedad igualitaria y conflictiva, in A. M. Baggio [comp.], La fraternidad en perspectiva política. Exigencias, recursos, definiciones del principio olvidado, Ciudad Nueva, Buenos Aires 2009, pp. 201-251; A inteligência fraterna. Democracia e partecipação na era dos fragmentos, in A.M.Baggio (organizador), O princípio esquecido/2. Exigências, recursos e definições da fraternidade na política, Cidade Nova, São Paulo 2009, pp. 85-130; Italian edition: L’intelligenza fraterna. Democrazia e partecipazione nell’età dei frammenti, in D. Ropelato (Ed.), Democrazia intelligente. La partecipazione: attori e processi, Città Nuova, Roma 2010, pp. 131-178; Caino e i suoi fratelli. Il fondamento relazionale nella politica e nel diritto, Città Nuova, Roma 2012. An extensive bibliography is found in: The Forgotten Principle: Fraternity in Its Public Dimension, in “Claritas. Journal of Dialogue and Culture”, Vol. 2 (2013), n° 2, Article 8, pp. 35-52.
In the context of life and thought experience on fraternity, the encounter with the reality of Haiti in 2001 deeply marked my research and my thought. It took ten years to publish the most ripen fruit of this meeting: Toussaint Louverture et l’existence politique du Peuple Noir, in Toussaint Louverture, Lettres à la France (1794-1798). Idées pour la libération du Peuple Noir d’Haïti. Introduction et appareil critique d’Antonio Maria Baggio et Ricardo Augustin, Nouvelle Cité, Paris 2011, pp. 11-141.
5) Studies on Chiara Lubich
Another branch of my studies is the charismatic thought of Chiara Lubich, from the point of view of the political sciences.
On this regard, please refer to Spirituality of Unity in Politics, in Bhakti. Path Way to God. The Way of Love. Union with God and Universal Brotherhood in Hinduism and Christianity, K. J. Bharatiya Sanskriti Peetham (Mumbai, India) and The Centre for Interfaith Dialogue, Focolare Movement, Rocca di Papa (Rome), Somaiya Publications PVT. LTD, Mumbai-New Dehli 2003, pp. 162-173; Meditazioni per la vita pubblica. Il carisma dell’unità e la politica, Città Nuova, Rome 2005; Il pensiero “nuziale” di Chiara Lubich, in “Nuova Umanità” XXX (2008/3) 177, pp. 319-340; La Parola come prassi in Chiara Lubich, in “Nuova Umanità” XXXI (2009/2) 182, pp. 191-212; L’amore degli amori: la politica nella visione carismatica di Chiara Lubich, in “Nuova Umanità” XXXVI (2014/1) 211, pp. 23-41.
PUBLIC COMMITMENT AND OTHER PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCES
|2007-||In April 2007 three universities of Cordoba (Argentina), the National University, the Catholic University and the Blaise Pascal University, declare “matter of academic interest” the principle of fraternity, as discussed in the book “El principio olvidado”, published in Buenos Aires the previous year. This marked the opening of the academic world to this new study perspective and, thanks particularly to the effort of some Argentinian academics, the “Red Universitaria para el Estudio de la Fraternidad” was formed and expanded over South America in a few years.|
|2005||Involvement with the foundation, in Rome, of the “Comitato Scienza & Vita” (Committee for Science and Life) with Carlo Casini, Edo Patriarca, Maria Luisa Santolini. I was member of the management until the end of the political campaign of the Referendum on the Italian law 40/2004 (on medically assisted procreation).|
|2002-2008||Cooperation in the construction of the network of Schools for political education of the “Fondación Claritas” (Argentina) and of the “Associação Civitas” (Brasil), on the basis of the experience with the Res nova schools.|
|2000-2007||Cooperation with Chiara Lubich in the development, from the doctrinal point of view, of the “Movement for Unity in Politics” (Focolari Movement), founded by Chiara Lubich on the 2nd of May 1996. From 2002 to 2007 I was Co-President of the MUP, with Lucia Fronza Crepaz and the member of the Italian parliament Giuseppe Gambale. The Movement for Unity in Politics is committed, on a global level, in the development of “politics of communion”, based on the theoretical study and practical application of universal fraternity.|
|2002||Co-founder with H.E. Mgr. Serge Miot, Archbishop of Port-au-Prince, of the “Toussaint Louverture” School for social and political education of Port-au-Prince. The School was founded in 2002 by the Archdiocese of Port-au-prince and the Toni Weber foundation, in connection with the Italian Schools “Res Nova”. As the authoritarian regime of Jean-Bertrand Aristide was getting tougher and tougher, the School took up the task of educating the youth in social and political engagement, contributing to their ethical and cultural background in order to allow them – on their own right – to commit themselves to the service of the common good and the development of the unity of the social body of Haiti. The school is active to the present day.|
|2001||On mandate of Chiara Lubich, foundation of the Movement for Unity in Politics in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Argentina.|
|1999-||Chairman of the Toni Weber Foundation (Charitable trust by decree of the Italian Minister for Internal affairs, 2nd September 1997). The Foundation is committed to the education (particularly the social and political one) of youth in Italy and worldwide, and it is involved in research projects as well as in raising awareness, with regards to the ethical relevance of certain political issues. The foundation is particularly engaged, since 2000, in the development of the “Fraternity Project”, aimed at the theoretical and practical development of fraternity in the public domain.|
|1997-99||From 1997 to 1999, with the member of European Parlament Carlo Casini, and the consultancy of prof. Maria Luisa Di Pietro, the Nuovo Millennio foundation brought together a cross-party group of members of parliament involved with the procedures for a law on medical assisted procreation in Italy. The group was mainly made of members of the Commission for Social Affairs of the Chamber of Deputies. The works of the group took place right from the beginning in the roman headquarters of the Res Nova School, in Piazza dell’Orologio, until the Chamber of Deputies approved the law proposed by the group. The cross-party group of members of parliament met with groups of citizens organized by the Res Nova School. Later, the law was rejected by the Senate, however, the building of a cross party movement, and the new forms of participation of organized citizens constitute an important experiment of interaction between representative and direct democracy. In 1999, the commitment for the law passed onto the Toni Weber Foundation.|
|1995-99||Secretary General for the Nuovo Millennio Foundation (Charitable trust by decree of the Italian Minister for Cultural and Environmental Goods, 28th September 1994). Under my lead, the Foundation was particularly involved in the development of the Res Nova School, and in the public action on bioethical themes, cooperating with several Italian members of parliament, promoting new forms of participation for citizens in the political decision.|
|In 1994 I start “Res Nova. A school for politics in Rome”. The school is aimed at providing specific education to youth – mainly graduates – willing to be involved in politics, or needing political competences for their profession, or for their role in cultural, ecclesial or charitable association. On the “Res Nova” model, 12 other schools arose in Italy, and they were joint in the “Federazione Res nova”. In 2000 the school became part of the “Movement for Unity in Politics”, founded in 1996 by Chiara Lubich.|
|1983-2007||Journalist of the magazine “Città nuova”, responsible for “Culture” section and political commentator. Among the several tasks, I was special envoy in Italy and other countries (Czechoslovakia , Soviet Union, German Democratic Republic, Poland, France, Egypt, United States).|
|1978-92||Editing secretary of the journal “Nuova Umanità”.|
|1978- 83||Teaching in several High Schools in Rome. Licence for teaching “Human sciences and history” in Italian high schools.|