Revisiting Rosmini

Portrait of Rosmini by Francesco Hayez, Galleria d’Arte Moderna di Milano (Paolobon140 via Wikimedia Commons)

Receiving and cataloguing a couple of new volumes of a set that had begun over half a century ago, I decided to look again at the way the set had been catalogued. The Opere edite e inedite di Antonio Rosmini (Rome-Stresa: Città Nuova Editrice, 1966–) had been placed together on the open shelves, but, as was often the case before the era of online cataloguing, with only a single record for the entire set, leaving readers to find anything they wanted by browsing the actual volumes. Realising that we were one of the few libraries in this country to be taking the complete set, and seeing how vast it is becoming (now projected to be complete in 80 volumes), I thought it was time to grapple with the task of recataloguing all the individual volumes received so far. As a result these works are now far more accessible to the reader, with a record in iDiscover for each volume. They stand on South Wing 4, at 184.c.97.1383-.

Antonio Rosmini (1797-1855), who merits a substantial entry in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, was a philosopher and theologian who sought above all to restore the relationship between reason and religion which he saw as having been upset by the Enlightenment. He engaged with the work of such major figures as Locke, Kant, Schelling, and Hegel, and aimed at an integration of being, knowledge, and ethics in a coherent system. A man of abundant energy, he managed not only to produce dozens of books but also to found a new religious order, the Rosminians. His growing involvement in ecclesiastical and then, in the 1840s, secular politics entangled him in controversy which saw two of his books (La costituzione secondo la giustizia sociale and Delle cinque piaghe della santa Chiesa) placed, for a while, on the Index of Forbidden Books. (The University Library has them both.)

In addition to the ongoing edition of Rosmini’s complete works, the University Library also holds several English translations. Among the numerous critical studies of his life and work are: Rosmini e Roma: Simposio internazionale di studi filosofici e storici in onore di Antonio Rosmini edited by Luciano Malusa and Paolo De Lucia (184:2.c.200.507) and Il governo senza orgoglio: le categorie del politico secondo Rosmini by Michele Nicoletti (C216.c.2847).

Bettina Rex

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