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Reclaiming the Piazza: Three Volumes

Reclaiming the Piazza: Three Volumes

Leonardo Franchi

Reclaiming the Piazza is, we admit, a quirky title for a book series. ‘Piazza’ refers to the great public space in Italy where dialogue and commensality take place. Our aim was to show that Catholic culture, and indeed the ‘Catholic mind’ must be open to an encounter with other ideas. A ‘culture war’ mentality is of limited or no value to the Church’s mission to ‘teach all nations’. Evangelisation demands no less than a putting out into the deep.

On the importance of this work of dialogue, the Holy Father, Pope Francis, could not be clearer:

If there is one word that we should never tire of repeating, it is this: dialogue. We are called to promote a culture of dialogue by every possible means and thus to rebuild the fabric of society (Pope Francis, Address upon Receiving the Charlemagne Prize (6 May, 2016).

The three volumes aim to put dialogue into practice.

  • Reclaiming the Piazza: Catholic Education as a Cultural Project argues that Catholic education aims to shape the culture of society.
  • Reclaiming the Piazza II: Catholic Education and the New Evangelisation is an edited book. Part 1 contains some theoretical reflections and Part 2 offers practical applications.
  • Reclaiming the Piazza III: Communicating Catholic Culture is an edited book grouped around the transcendentals of Truth, Beauty and Goodness.

Francis Campbell’s chapter in Reclaiming the Piazza II ‘On Catholic Education and Integrity’ shows that Catholic education ‘offers gifts to and for the wider world, and that these gifts are not opposed to the world beyond the Church’ (p. 31). This is a fine summary of the ‘piazza’ project.

We are open to suggestions for next steps although Reclaiming the Piazza – the Movie is not an option – for now anyway…

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