SOCIAL MOVEMENTS, INNOVATION, AND GOVERNANCE: THE CASE OF THE ECONOMY OF COMMUNION IN ITALY
The Economy of Communion (EoC) movement is one of the most interesting phenomena both in today’s Catholicism and in the global field of spiritually oriented entrepreneurship. This model – first elaborated by the founder of the Focolare movement, Chiara Lubich – is focused on a ‘culture of giving’; on the development of a relation of ‘communion’ with employees, customers and even competitors; on transparency and fairness; and on environmental sustainability. Although grounded in the Gospel and the Catholic Church’s social doctrine, it is meant as a business model which can be adopted also by people belonging to other religious traditions, and even by non-believers. This paper, based on interviews to people involved in the EoC movement and on other primary and secondary sources, will analyse the movement in Italy, focusing on a side understudied by the literature: the complex web of organizations which provide it with a structure and a governance. Particularly, the paper will show how such organizations try to strike a balance between preserving the movement’s identity and Chiara Lubich’s message, and spreading the EoC model by trying to make it popular, also outside the Focolare movement.
Bruni Luigino, Il Polo Industriale: Città sul monte e sale della Terra, in: Economia di Comunione. Una cultura nuova, Vittorio Pelligra and Antonella Ferrucci (eds.), Associazione Internazionale per una Economia di Comunione.
Catalano Roberto, Spiritualità di comunione e dialogo interreligioso. L’esperienza di Chiara Lubich e del movimento dei Focolari, Città Nuova, Roma, 2010.
Faggioli Massimo, The Rising Laity: Ecclesial Movements since Vatican II, Paulist Press, New York, 2016.
Frizzi Paolo, From Spirituality to Business. The Case of the Innovation Consultancy ‘Consulus’, paper presented at the International Conference on Transnational Religious Movements, Dialogue and Development, University of Turin, 10 December 2015.
Gallagher Jim, A Woman’s Work: Chiara Lubich, Harper Collins, London, 1997.
Gold Lorna, The Roots of the Focolare Movement’s Economic Ethic, Journal of Markets & Morality, Vol. 6, No. 1, 2003.
Gui Benedetto, Le imprese di Economia di Comunione tra non-profit e for profit, In Per una Economia di Comunione. Un approccio multidisciplinare, Luigino Bruni and Luca Crivelli (eds.), Città Nuova, Roma, 2004.
Guitian Gregorio, Integral Subsidiarity and Economy of Communion: Two Challenges from Caritas in Veritate, Journal of Markets & Morality, Vol. 13, No. 2, 2012.
Itçaina Xabier, Catholic Mediations in Southern Europe: The Invisible Politics of Religion, Routledge, Abingdon, 2018.
Itçaina Xabier, Les politiques territoriales du religieux. Médiations Catholiques en Europe du sud, Dossier soumis en vue de l’obtention de l’Habilitation à diriger des recherches, Sciences Po Bordeaux, 2015.
Linard Keith T., Economy of Communion: Systemic Factors in the Rise of a New Entrepreneurship, Systems Research and Behavioral Science Vol. 20, No. 2, 2003.
Lubich Chiara, La dottrina spirituale, Arnoldo Mondadori, Milano, 2001.
Lubich Chiara, L’economia di Comunione. Storia e profezia, Città Nuova, Roma, 2001.
Novak Michael, The Catholic Ethic And The Spirit Of Capitalism, Free Press, New York, 1993.
Robertson Edwin, The Fire Of Love: A Life Of Igino Giordani “Foco”, New City, London, 1989.
Rocchi Benedetto, Un sovrappiù di Comunione: Formazione e distribuzione del reddito nelle aziende EdC, In Per una Economia di Comunione. Un approccio multidisciplinare, edited by Luigino Bruni and Luca Crivelli, Città Nuova, Roma, 2004.
Uelmen Amelia J., Luigino Bruni, Religious Values and Corporate Decision Making: The Economy of Communion Project, Fordham Journal of Corporate and Financial Law Vol. 11, 2006.
Zamagni Stefano, The Economy of Communion Project as a Challenge to Standard Economic Theory, Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia, Vol. 70, No. 1, 2014.
Copyright (c) 2019 Luca Ozzano
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.