Enriching Cries

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


The first prayer that we find in the Bible is a cry, a cry that rises into the sky by an oppressed people. To have an experience of liberation one must first feel the need to be liberated, and then cry, believing or hoping that there, or up there, is someone to pick up the cry. If we do not feel oppressed by any pharaoh, or if we have lost hope that someone will listen to our cry, we have no reasons to cry out and we will not be freed. Moses begins his public life by killing a man. Moses, the announcer of the law ‘Thou shalt not kill’ becomes a murderer. In these opening words of the story of Moses, one of the most profound laws of the Bible returns in a mysterious and, for us, a bit disconcerting way. The patriarchs and prophets of the Bible are neither heroes nor models of virtue. They show themselves to us as women and men taken from life, so human in their repertoire to include even the murderous act of Cain. It’s on the basis of being so fully human that their immense vocations come, and that is how they embark on and end their great spiritual experiences that are also always human. Only if we take upon ourselves the whole of their humanity may their stories of salvation, their hopes and their liberation become ours, too.

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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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