Luigino Bruni Vita 250Luigino Bruni

"Nothing has more value than an act of gratuitousness"

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You will find some of my articles and comments here on my blog:


Go to my Biblical series:

The Dawn of Midnight Listening to life - Nacked Questions - A Man named Job - The Midwifes of Egypt

Go to my other series: 

On the border and beyond - The Voices of the Days - Regenerations - The Great Transition


The Road to Damascus Is Normal

Narrative Capitals/4 - Founding and Saving facts and acts aren’t always striking

by Luigino Bruni

published in Avvenire on 03/12/2017

171203 Capitali narrativi 4 rid“Only infinite love can reduce itself and, in order to become finite, become incarnated in order to love the other, to love the other as a finite other.”

Jacques Derrida The Gift of Death (English translation by: David Wills)

Narrative capitals are pluralistic. Not all the stories they are composed of have the same value. Only a few are able to carry the weight of the new construction. ‘Wheat’ and ‘weeds’ are found in all fields of the earth, including those special fields where our ideals grow. At the beginning we must grow all the plants in the field, because - as the great evangelical metaphor says - if the peasants intervened to eradicate the weeds they would also tear away the good and precious ears of wheat.

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On the wounds of the earth

Narrative Capitals/3 - Great collective ideals germinate in seismic areas

by Luigino Bruni

published in Avvenire on 26/11/2017

171125 Capitali narrativi 3 rid«Ci sono le voci.
Ci accompagnano.
Ci mordono.
Ci sussurrano brevissime consolazioni…
Ci comandano
ci sgridano
quasi mai ci lodano
gridano nelle notti insonni.
Le voci…
Di chi sono queste voci?»

Chandra Livia Candiani, Fatti vivo

The more we loved the great narratives we see vanishing, the more severe the famines of narrative capital are. When we had laid all our hearts, souls and minds in that good news, burned all our impossible desires, and it had become the dominant thought that did not let us sleep at night because we wanted to daydream our only true dream.

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Avoiding False Resurrections

Narrative Capitals/2 - Rising again should be learned and is only possible without a contract

by Luigino Bruni

published in Avvenire on 19/11/2017

171119 Capitali narrativi 2 ridThe great writers project their shadow in two directions simultaneously. In one they offer their shadow to their predecessors, in the other to those who follow them".

Wislawa Szymborska, How to live more comfortably

The most tenacious and constant search that humans conduct on earth is the search for consolation. It is impossible to give it up, especially in difficult times of existence, when the pain of the present and the uncertainty of the future generate the invincible temptation to construct illusions in order not to die. Many people, even the great, interrupt their ethical and spiritual journey and regress when and because they give in to these terrible temptations.

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Reviving the Tree of Ideals

Narrative Capitals/1 - The new beginning of a spiritual and work heritage

by Luigino Bruni

published in Avvenire il 12/11/2017

171112 Capitali narrativi 1 ridWe have to work in those intermediate areas between several orders of disciplines, in which exceptional wealth is often accumulated, like at the border of two different areas.

Achille Loria The Economic Foundations of Society

Communities, associations, movements, institutions and businesses live through many forms of capital. One of these is narrative capital, a precious resource in many organizations, which becomes essential in times of crisis and in the great changes on which the quality of the present, the possibility of the future, the blessing or curse of the past depend. It is the patrimony - that is, munus / gift of the fathers - made of stories, stories, writings, sometimes poems, songs and myths. It is a real capital because, like all capitals, it generates fruits and future. If the ideals of the organization or community are high and ambitious, as it happens in many ideal driven organizations (IDO), its narrative capital is also great. It is a precious resource during the first difficulties, when telling each other the great episodes of yesterday gives courage to continue to hope, believe and love today.

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Simply Life

The Dawn of Midnight/29 - Generated for ever: the world will not be abandoned

by Luigino Bruni

published in Avvenire on 05/11/2017

171105 Geremia 29 ridThe Bible is not my sacred text, even though I also feel its sacredness, which I derive from its capacity to absorb the screams of the world. Jeremiah's cry of pain is almost fully let out as a scream. Job screams. Isaiah, too. So it is a strange sacred text composed of despair, failure and an implacable faith in a God who does not answer".

Guido Ceronetti, from a 2013 interview

“The word that Jeremiah the prophet spoke to Baruch the son of Neriah, when he wrote these words in a book at the dictation of Jeremiah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah: »Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, to you, O Baruch: You said, ‘Woe is me! For the Lord has added sorrow to my pain. I am weary with my groaning, and I find no rest.’ (...) Thus says the Lord: (...) And do you seek great things for yourself? Seek them not, for behold, I am bringing disaster upon all flesh, declares the Lord. But I will give you your life as a prize of war in all places to which you may go«”. (Jeremiah 45:1-5).

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God’s Legacy is Liberty

The Dawn of Midnight/28 - Man and woman: the most beautiful "image" under the sun

by Luigino Bruni

published in Avvenire le 29/10/2017

171029 Geremia 28 ridThe longer we are uprooted from professional activities and our private lives, the more it brings home to us how fragmentary our lives are compared with those of our parents. Our spiritual existence remains incomplete.”

Dietrich BonhoefferLetter to Eberhard Bethge, 1944 (English translation by Reginald H. Fuller)

Ideology is anti-hope. Hope is born within the imperfect reality of today and feeds on a better tomorrow that it does not know yet but awaits. It is the gift-virtue of the crossings of deserts, when we walk in the scorching heat knowing that a promised land awaits us in the end, which is real even if nobody has ever seen it.

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Not with the convenient idol

The Dawn of Midnight/27 - Beyond the seduction of useful faith and mutual consumption

by Luigino Bruni

published in Avvenire Avvenire on 22/10/2017

171022 Geremia 27 ridA nation that still believes in itself holds fast to its own god. (...) it projects its joy in itself, its feeling of power, into a being to whom one may offer thanks. He who is rich will give of his riches; a proud people need a god to whom they can make sacrifices... (...) Wherever the will to power begins to decline, in whatever form, there is always an accompanying decline physiologically, a decadence. The divinity of this decadence ... is converted perforce into a god of the physiologically degraded, of the weak.

Friedrich Nietzsche, The Antichrist (English translation by: H. L. Mencken)

In certain decisive moments, faith and hope become the same thing in fact. This happens when the question ‘Do you believe?’ seems too small and incapable of grasping the richness of the mystery of our heart. When we lose faith simply because we wanted to become adults and our first, child's faith failed to grow together with our love and with our own and others' pain, faith can still return home, taken by the hand by hope. Hope is more resilient than faith, because even under a sky that has become uninhabited we can always hope that the good words that they had told us about there being a greater love in the world were true - that some of them were true, or at least one of them was true. Even when we can no longer believe in God we can always continue to hope in him, we can hope that although on the day we stopped praying we made the greatest mistake, that day we could not know it. And this humble and gentle hope already becomes a true new prayer, and fills the utterly human and restless waiting for the not-yet.

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The needle’s eye of the awaited word

The Dawn of Midnight/26 - The haste of easy answers establishes the roots of fear

by Luigino Bruni

published in Avvenire on 15/10/2017

171015 Geremia 26 ridIf God exists, today, more than ever before, he needs someone who, if he does not know who he is, can say at least who he is not. We need to change God in order to preserve Him, and so that he may preserve us ".

 Paolo de Benedetti, Quale Dio? (Which God?)

When and if one day the moment of encounter with the Bible arrives, if it is a chaste encounter (because it does not use the Bible for one's own happiness), free (because we are ready to discover new realities and to really change any belief in religion) and gratuitous (because we don't want to convert anyone other than our own heart), friendship with the biblical word becomes a wonderful education in the intimacy of the word and words. We finally begin to love poets, to understand them more and differently, we begin to thank them in the soul. We discover the depth of wisdom, we learn to distinguish it from natural intelligence and talents, to then find it, in abundance, among the poor - and then listen to them to learn. If we then have the courage and resilience to reach to the prophets, the discoveries become more and more shocking and great. For example, we can sense something about the relationship between the different words present in the Bible. It is understood that when the word of YHWH arrives, in various ways and times, in the soul of the prophets it is only a word of God, but as soon as it reaches the mouth from the soul and is then said, it also becomes a word of Jeremiah, Isaiah or Amos.

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The Magnificent Art of the “Stabat”

The Dawn of Midnight/25 - The risk of the encounter and the moral climb of the world

by Luigino Bruni

published in Avvenire on 08/10/2017

171008 Geremia 25 ridGreet the banks of the Jordan
and Zion's toppled towers.
Oh, my country so lovely and lost!
Oh, remembrance so dear and so fraught with despair! 

T. Solera e G.Verdi, Nabucco/Nabucodonosor (English translation by Norman Tucker and Tom Hammond

We can imagine the ending of a story a thousand times and have a certain idea of it because the end was already inscribed in the many signs that we have found and interpreted. But when that ending really arrives it's always different. We knew that little Marco would grow up to be a man, and when one day we realized that that beautiful "child" of ours was no longer there, our emotions and tears were all different, and beautiful. We have predicted and said endless times that our bad actions would lead us to the end, but the day we really took the books to court, it was all different, with pain and real tears that we had not been able to foresee. We had prepared our last day in community until the last small detail, but when we really closed the door of the room behind us for the last time and crossed the doorway forever, what happened in the depths of our hearts was totally new; we could not know either the taste of the last bread eaten with our companions, or the nostalgia for heaven that accompanied us throughout our life. We didn't know, we couldn't know, we didn't have to know it in order to try to make that impossible flight. We can and must prepare for it, we can and must accept the idea of the certain arrival of the angel of death with gentleness, but when it really happens the angel of death will not be as we have dreamt, and we will be surprised that while living our life we have also learned to die. But we could not know this in advance, otherwise it would not have been the greatest gift.

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The Poor Angels of the Poor

The Dawn of Midnight/24 - Mutilation weighs more heavily on the soul than the body

by Luigino Bruni

published in Avvenire on 01/10/2017

171001 Geremia 24 crop ridThe duty to neighbours is not confined only to those who live next door. (...) The Samaritan is linked to the wounded Israelite through the event itself... (...) Once he finds himself in this situation, he is in a new ‘neighbourhood’. (...) There are few non-neighbours left in the world today.

Amartya Sen, The Idea of Justice

The secularity of the Bible is something very serious but increasingly distant from our lives as believers and "laypeople". Biblical humanism is first and foremost a discourse on life, on the whole of life, especially on human life. The Bible speaks a lot about God, but it does not only speak about God to us, because above all it speaks about us. Because it tells us that there is not only God in life: there is life. The biblical God knows how to retreat, to remain silent, to leave room for us. To our freedom and responsibility. He is not a monopolist of our lives, he does not want a continued and perpetual cult - for that is what the former look for and they only get idols. The Biblical God is a liberator, he does not free us from idols to enslave us to himself - if he did so, he would be the perfect idol. He activates processes, he doesn't occupy any space, not even sacred ones, which he rarely frequents, because he prefers the square, the house and the vineyard to the temple. But above all, he loves to look at what is happening under the sun, to follow us with a look of hope in the full exercise of our humanity. He is astonished when he sees our wickedness, but he is even more astonished at the beauty of our actions, looking at the admirable spectacle of solidarity and fraternity, especially those cases of wonderful solidarity and fraternity that begin in the hearts of the poorest and the rejected.

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The Moving Sands of Illusions

The Dawn of Midnight/23 - Accepting the truth is reconciliation, not resignation

by Luigino Bruni

published in Avvenire on 24/09/2017

170917 Geremia 23 1 ridCassandra: “Has my arrow hit the mark or has it missed? Or am I a false prophet, a chatterer beggar? Swear an oath that you have not heard these things before and that I know well all the ancient sins of this house. (...) And yet again! Ah! The dreadful pain of prophecy fulfilled spins me around and – there! It begins to shake me!

Aeschylus, Agamennone (English translation by George Theodoridis)

When we cultivate a great illusion in life, the management of disappointment is always very complicated and extremely painful. Furthermore, if the time of illusion has been lived in good faith and for many years, when we can already glimpse the day of disappointment, we almost always prefer to remain deceived. Because calling the illusion its true name means having to say words that are too painful to say out loud: failure, (self-)deception, immaturity, manipulation. Yet, it would be enough to understand that disappointment is the only good flowering of illusion, live it as a blessed passage to bring good fruits, and then conclude our journey under the sun in truth. In the struggle between illusion and disappointment - and we are talking about real agony, especially in case of righteous and honest people - the outcome depends decisively on whom we stand next in the struggle. If we have one or more false prophets as companions, we remain imprisoned in the illusion, we continue to deny reality, even when it is obvious and evident to everyone. Because the false prophets are masters of presenting facts contrary to their ideology as the last test to pass in order to finally be ready for true salvation. If, however, we meet a true prophet in the struggle, the age of illusion can end at last, and the evil and oppressing pain can be transformed into the good labour of liberation. Faced with the total and definitive collapse of what seemed to us for so long to be the most beautiful and true life on earth and in heaven, the only possible salvation is to embrace disappointment. And to invite her to dinner, put the most beautiful tablecloths and cutlery, and open the best bottle of wine from the cellar. And then, together, to celebrate, inviting the few real friends and the very few prophets. Without this dinner of reconciliation we cannot discover one day that that life was really beautiful, perhaps even more beautiful than we had imagined.

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The Dawn of Midnight

Logo Geremia Crop 150The series of comments by Luigino Bruni on Jeremiah's book comes out every Sunday on Avvenire

Go to the complete series

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A Lexicon of Social Well-Being

A Lexicon of social well being ridLuigino Bruni

Palgrave Pivot, April 2015

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Luigino Bruni’s articles and video

The Vocabulary of Good Social Life

Logo nuovo lessico rid modThe "words" of the New Vocabulary from the editorials of each Sunday published in Avvenire by Luigino Bruni

Communion - 09/02/2014
Institutions
- 02/02/2014
Community
- 26/01/2014
Time
- 19/01/2014
Meekness
- 12/01/2014
Economics
- 05/01/2014
Consumption
- 29/12/2013
Charismas
- 22/12/2013
Innovation
 - 15/12/2013
Market - 08/12/2013
Common Goods - 01/12/2013
Cooperation - 24/11/2013
Experience Goods - 17/11/2013
A Critical Point - 10/11/2013
Types of Capital - 03/11/2013
Poverty - 27/10/2013
Relational Goods - 20/10/2013
Goods- 13/10/2013
Wealth - 06/10/2013
A New Vocabulary - 29/09/2013

The Wound and the Blessing

Wound blessingLuigino Bruni

Economics, Relationships, and Happiness

New City Press, 2012

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United Nations Video

This short video was shot in occasion of the EoC presentation in the February 2012 UN Conference on Poverty Eradication.

 

Video - EoC in 5 words

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Presentation by Luigino Bruni to the Faculty of the Ateneo De Manila University. Manila, Philippines, September 23, 2011

Guidelines for conducting an EoC business

Binari_rid_modThe Economy of Communion proposes the following "Guidelines for conducting a business", to productive organizations who adhere to its message and its culture, written in the light of the life and thought of thousands of entrepreneurs and workers....

The Genesis and Ethos of the Market

The Genesis and Ethos of the market ridLuigino Bruni

Palgrave Macmillan, September 2012

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The economy of giving

Chiara_Lubich_1Chiara Lubich

«Unlike the consumerist economy, based on a culture of having, the economy of communion is the economy of giving.... 

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