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5 Christian Mortalism

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Chapter Summary

Historians have offered a variety of interpretations of Sarpi's religiosity. According to Benedetto Croce, Sarpi's political writings contributed to the birth of a new religious conscience. Furthermore, Croce claimed that the way in which Sarpi stressed the limits of man was fundamentally religious. This chapter discusses that Sarpi's idea of the nature of man was Augustinian and shaped by his religious interpretation of man's weakness and dependence on divine grace. Based on a thorough study of Sarpi's writings, it argues that he was a believer whose religiosity exceeded the limits of confessionalism and reached out for a religious universality, which was based on the principles of the early church. Despite Sarpi's general distaste for doctrinal controversies and theological speculation, however, he did comment on theological problems as salvation, grace and predestination in some of his writings.

Keywords: Benedetto Croce; confessionalism; early church; Sarpi's religiosity; theological problems



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