AbstrActVery little is known about Winstanley’s life prior to the Digger movement, other than what can be gathered from his own writings.Born to a Puritan family in Lan-cashire, Winstanley followed family tradition and entered the clothing industry. The Civil war broke out in 1640, and destroyed his business; retiring to the Surrey countryside, he worked as a hired laborer. Between 1648 and 1652, Winstanley wrote an extraordinary series of pamphlets, in which he tried to transform the propertied Puritan radicalism, that was central to the Revolution, and to promote the causes of economic, social, political, and religious freedom. Developing a remarkable theory, in January 1649 he published The New Law of Righteousness, challenging the institutions of private property and wage labor. In the spring, he established a colony of “Diggers” or “True Levellers”, based on the principle that the land was the “common treasury” of the people of England. Within a year, however, all the Diggers’ communities had been dispersed. In 1652, Winstanley wrote The Law of Freedom in a Platform, in which he developed a program for a “commu-nist” Commonwealth. Informed by the failures of the Digger communities, the pamph-let called upon Cromwell to redistribute land and underlined the role of the State in the establishment of an ideal Commonwealth. Winstanley never published another work and he very nearly disappeared from the historical record until his death, in 1676. A careful analysis of his pamphlets reveals the uniqueness of his belief that law had to create the preconditions for the emergence of his “communist” utopia. This paper aims to gain new insight into the writings of this seventeenth century reformer and to provide a fuller understanding of their utopian nature

Gerrard Winstanley. Teologia politica, dottrina sociale e programma radicale di uno “zappatore” eterodosso

Rosamaria Alibrandi
2019

Abstract

AbstrActVery little is known about Winstanley’s life prior to the Digger movement, other than what can be gathered from his own writings.Born to a Puritan family in Lan-cashire, Winstanley followed family tradition and entered the clothing industry. The Civil war broke out in 1640, and destroyed his business; retiring to the Surrey countryside, he worked as a hired laborer. Between 1648 and 1652, Winstanley wrote an extraordinary series of pamphlets, in which he tried to transform the propertied Puritan radicalism, that was central to the Revolution, and to promote the causes of economic, social, political, and religious freedom. Developing a remarkable theory, in January 1649 he published The New Law of Righteousness, challenging the institutions of private property and wage labor. In the spring, he established a colony of “Diggers” or “True Levellers”, based on the principle that the land was the “common treasury” of the people of England. Within a year, however, all the Diggers’ communities had been dispersed. In 1652, Winstanley wrote The Law of Freedom in a Platform, in which he developed a program for a “commu-nist” Commonwealth. Informed by the failures of the Digger communities, the pamph-let called upon Cromwell to redistribute land and underlined the role of the State in the establishment of an ideal Commonwealth. Winstanley never published another work and he very nearly disappeared from the historical record until his death, in 1676. A careful analysis of his pamphlets reveals the uniqueness of his belief that law had to create the preconditions for the emergence of his “communist” utopia. This paper aims to gain new insight into the writings of this seventeenth century reformer and to provide a fuller understanding of their utopian nature
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11570/3151153
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