The Way: To State and Cultivate the Alliance

  • Luigino Bruni
Part of the Virtues and Economics book series (VIEC, volume 4)


The man of the Antiquity had more access to the mystery of life. He lived in a world where men and women and visible beings were but a small part of the population capable of speech. The world was full of messages and symbols that were perceived in a deep and clear way. Many of those words were alive and real, but we have forgotten them, just like it happens when we learn a new language as adults and forget the one acquired in our childhood. And so, we become poorer. When he arrived in the land of his uncle Laban, Jacob saw a well in the open country. The well is a great symbol in the nomadic cultures. It was and it still is a sign of life, of nature’s regeneration, of the survival of the flocks and people, the place of relationships, communities, oases and meetings, the place of life. And in the Bible it is at the wells that many encounters between men and women take place: Isaac, Moses, Jesus and the Samaritan woman. There is, in fact, an ancient and widespread familiarity of the figure of the woman and water (sirens, nymphs). Jacob, too, meets his cousin Rachel at a well while she is tending the flock.

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luigino Bruni
    • 1
  1. 1.GEPLI Department – EconomicsLibera Università Maria SS. AssuntaRomaItaly

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