· Vatican City ·



Embrace vitality through nurturing both the world and oneself
Foster generativity alongside freedom

 Più vita nella cura del mondo e di se stessi  La generatività coniugata con la libertà  DCM-004
06 April 2024

The book Generare libertà. Accrescere la vita senza distruggere il mondo [Generating Freedom. Increasing Life Without Destroying the World] by Chiara Giaccardi and Mauro Magatti, published by Il Mulino, presents a groundbreaking perspective in our discourse, urging us to adopt a fresh approach to viewing everything around us. It assigns us a tangible task: to engage in a new mode of thinking within, alongside, and through the world. Across its four chapters, the book elucidates vital elements for cultivating “more life” through the dual acts of caring for both the world and ourselves. Drawing upon a breadth of knowledge and insights from esteemed thinkers spanning from Socrates to Agamben, the authors weave a narrative underscored by the method of “polar opposition”, as articulated by figures like Simmel and Guardini.

The book by Giaccardi (wh is on the steering committee of Women Church World) and Magatti -both of whom are sociologists-, begins with a reflection on the complexity of life, people and their relationships, the danger of which is a “chiaroscuro” that hides monsters. As the Lehman Brothers and Guardini state, life must evolve from a culture of need and purpose to a culture of desire and meaning, which is always guided by the generative principle. “The good is not a dead law. Moral activity is in itself something mysterious”, says Guardini.

The subsequent chapters delve into three fundamental principles. First, it advocates for a reimagined approach to desire, transcending mere consumerist gratification. Second, it calls for a heightened intelligence that shifts from exploitation to nurturing. Lastly, it champions a novel ethics of freedom, aspiring to extend liberation to others. These transformative endeavors hinge upon two key components: first, a fresh perspective rooted in biological, social, and spiritual sciences, for “doing good is genuine innovation.” Second, it underscores the necessity of a new knowledge paradigm, demanding the dissolution of dualism and the emergence of a dynamic interplay between opposing poles—a process characterized by “creative actualization of the yet-to-be”. Ultimately, “salvation” is found in the tension between potentiality and the continual creation of new forms and dynamics of individual growth.

“To act morally, therefore, is to engender something within the tangible fabric of existence”. For life, inherently, remains in a perpetual state of “unfinishedness”. It becomes evident why, alongside the specialized lexicons of biology, philosophy, anthropology, theology, and sociology, theoretical constructs from the realm of art hold significant sway within these pages: creation, form, harmony, execution, and the like. The challenge lies in harmonizing the temporal and eternal realms simultaneously. This book serves as a genuine portal to embracing “more life” in its entirety.

by Yvonne Dohna Schlobitten