Community Belonging and the Ecclesial Form of Universalistic Communitarism
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Citizenship can be a central category for rebuilding and renewing democracy, since it best compounds a liberal recognition of the primacy of individual rights with a recognition of the Republican duties generated by belonging to a political community.
How to combine, however, the universalizing dynamics of individual rights with the particularistic dynamics typical of the responsibility-bond of communitarian traditions?
To get out of this paralyzing divarication, it may be useful to resort to a notion of community belonging as a factor of inclusive and emancipatory universalization, not of exclusive and regressive particularism. This notion finds one of its strongest ideal and historical expressions in Christian ecclesiality.
An exegetical and theological reconstruction of the process of self-definition in which particular communities have united as a single community in the early Church can be of great help in focusing questions, answers, possible solutions and difficulties of the current process of internal and external integration of national societies in relation to internal divisive tendencies and processes of undifferentiated external assimilation.