In compliance with the Prime Ministerial Decree of 9 March 2020, the Study Day presentation on the theme “The Benedictine abbot: a leader between history and modernity”, scheduled for 28 March 2020, has been postponed.
We will take care to communicate the new date of the presentation.
In May 2017, the book The Monastery as a Company by Alessandro Paglia, editor of Strategy & People, was presented at the Pontifical University of Sant’Anselmo. The book offers the original key to the reading of the Rule of Saint Benedict on a structural-business basis instead of the classic one based on values, so that new aspects and other openings of meanings of the Rule have emerged that have stimulated some insights.
Study days were held on the topic “Saint Benedict builder” with speakers from the engineering faculty of the universities of Sapienza and Cassino-Lazio Meridionale held at Sant’Anselmo and on the topic “Military culture in the Rule of Saint Benedict” with speakers from Sapienza University, of the Anselmianum and of the Istituto Studi Militari Marina at the Arsenale of Venice.
Now it is the turn of insights on the theme “The Benedictine abbot: a leader between history and modernity” taking the cue from the chapters on the abbot-manager and entrepreneur of the Paglia book, where the modernity of the abbot figure emerges from the comparison with the most accredited managerial schools of our times.
Fernando Rivas OSB opens the work with the analysis of chapter 2 of the Rule entirely dedicated to the figure of the abbot vicar of Christ, father, shepherd, doctor, teacher and judge, dispenser of the house of God, loving brother of all. An extraordinary figure, “an eternal character in the memory of men” according to J.L. Borges.
Alessandro Paglia, after outlining the monastery as a permanent training school, illustrates the characteristics of the leadership of the abbots that the sociological theory of the elites allows us to read its millenary importance in the history of the Church and in the history of States such as England up to the Act of Supremacy of Henry VIII of 1535.
Francesco Salvestrini, historian of the Benedictine Order of Vallombrosa, illustrates the charisma of the magnificence of the abbot Atto da Pistoia, one of the most interesting and least-known figures of the twelfth century.
Giorgio Paglia underlines the importance of “governance” of support and development for all collaborators and of relations with external “stakeholders” for a company that wants to be clear, transparent and secure in its structure. These conditions are found in the Rule with the definition of roles, areas of competence and responsibility encouraged in the performance by the abbot’s leadership.
The contribution of the study day is underlined in conclusion by Riccardo Pedrizzi and is dedicated to company managers with an invitation to reflect on the abatial leadership to better orient themselves in their work and indicate to management theorists and historians that the abbot as head is valid for every time and in every place.