Providence and Politics (through Dante) — Prologue to Future Conference

Modernity’s confrontation with the question of authority is first and foremost a confrontation with the primordial incarnation of authority—the father.

The “Patriarchal” society is supposed to be replaced by the mercantile society; pious bond of trust replaced by impious financial bonds.

All this, assuming that the Providence appealed to by our classics is a Chimera. By relying on modern readings of Providence (“God is blind” and so for all practical intents and purposes, dead) it is easy to accept the assumption at hand—as if Providence aimed at doing our will. What alternative reading would “save” Providence for our times? What understanding of Providence would allow us to reintegrate Providence at the heart of political life? Could Providence, properly understood, be the key to saving politics? If modernity’s rejection of Providence is tied to its abrogation of classical fatherhood (cf. e.g. Locke on honoring the father), would a return to Providence require a return to a classical understanding of fatherhood?

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