The Horizon of the Pluralistic City

An Encounter with Massimo Cacciari and Piero Coda

When the question of modern pluralism tests the thinking of scholars who go to the root of thinking, such as the philosopher Massimo Cacciari and the theologian Piero Coda – president of the Sophia University – the outcome is never conventional.
“The Pluralistic City: the Challenges for a New Humanism.” This was the theme of the dialogue introduced by Giuseppe Betori, Archbishop of Florence and Chancellor of the IUS, held on 7 February at the Foundation Spazio Reale, a well-known center of cultural debate that is situated on the periphery of Florence, a suitable site for encounters and exchanges of cultural experiences and diverse perspectives.
The talks given by Cacciari and Coda made it possible to imagine a new humanism, more than even needed today in our cities, with full awareness and respect for their unique identities, which are nourished by the universal picture. The talk by Cacciari underscored the pluralistic dimension of the city, present since ancient times in its diverse expressions: such as the Greek polis, which grouped together its citizens according to thier ethnic roots, and the Roman civitas, which grouped them according to the existing laws. 
Today, in order for the city to be a pluralistic space, there needs to be “conversations,” and – so continued Cacciari – to “understand each other,” we should not fear or avoid going through “mis-understand each other.” In order to illustrate this concept, he used “the metaphor of the condiminium”: just as humanity can be closed in itself in many condiminiums, also a city can cease to grow and even to live when it begins to simply “tolerate’” We need a new dynamic, open to successes of novelty and truth in thought and culture.  
The talk by Coda further explored pluralism in urban spaces, allowing the vital perspective to emerge of a city that, like the ideal city of Jerusalem in the Bible, is constantly in “exodus,” called to step outside of itself towards the beyond of God, of our neighbour, of the least among us. And in recalling the strong significance of the “transumanar” of Dante Alighieri – to go beyond the human in the human – Piero Coda reminded the audience that a city is alive and productive when it is a sym-bolon, that is, capable of integrating diversities, which recognize each other in communitas and overcome the temptation of immunitas, that is, the temptation of excluding the others and retreating into ghettos. The direction, therefore, seems clear: in today’s scenario, the ancient and new meaning of the city will refind vigour only by recognizing at the foundations of the urban fabric the authentic encounter among diversities, where it is possible for everyone to feel at home.

Newsletter Sitemap Contacts Faq
Licenza Creative Commons
Sophia Home