The Cooperativa Cattolica-democratica di Cultura (CCDC) was founded in Brescia (Lombardy) by notarial deed on 27 April 1976, on the initiative of founding members gathered around the figure of Matteo Perrini, professor of philosophy, Dean of various Brescian high schools, a leading figure in Catholic-democratic culture not only in Brescia and Lombardy. Over half of the founding members were very young, mostly university students, who had had prof. Perrini as a teacher and witness of life. The CCDC assumes in the articles of association the form of “limited liability cooperative company” and quickly gathers many members.
The Cooperative began its activity in 1976 in a political, cultural and religious context of Italy in many ways dramatic. These were the years of the explosion of terrorism, of the sclerosis of the political system and, within the Catholic world, of the travails of the post-Council period. In this climate of disorientation and surrender to the myths of ideologies, the CCDC declares that it wants to act with its own, fully independent style and indicates the aims to which it inspires its action and loyal debate with others, coherently with its own statute: cooperation, Christian inspiration, democracy as a mandatory form of coexistence without alternatives, the duty to beat the darkening of consciences with the circulation of a culture of free debate, which has its roots in humanism. Christian inspiration is clearly affirmed, in close connection with the clear rejection of every form of fundamentalism, combining spiritual deepening and ecumenical anxiety, the cultural tradition of Europe and the Gospel. In the same way the open profession of moral and political faith in democracy, in the construction of an open society, makes the CCDC always free from any dogmatism or political fanaticism, because democracy needs first of all men capable of critical sense and moral rectitude.
Since its origins, the Cooperative has been characterized as a meeting place for people animated only by the desire to reflect on the fundamental coordinates of personal existence and social life, offering to the province of Brescia the opportunity to meet personalities of culture, science and arts, witnesses of time of extraordinary value. In this spirit, the CCDC has always been extraneous to any affiliation, both with regard to the political world and with respect to movements secular and ecclesial movements. A connotation that makes it a completely original reality in the Italian cultural scene; precisely because of this freedom, the Cooperative has been able to develop its activity in full autonomy from the beginning, thanks exclusively to the generous attitude of members and directors who over time have guaranteed the continuity of action and quality of initiatives.
Since 1976 many situations have changed, the interlocutors in society and institutions have shifted as well. In different contexts, however, the CCDC has been able to keep faith with the principles for which it arose, with a constant and multiform presence, ensuring a fruitful dialogue with the Town and the Province. The people of Brescia have understood this, continuing to participate in large numbers in his initiatives. With over 45 years of activity, over 1,000 cultural meetings, 900 speakers and invited witnesses, the CCDC is today one of the most long-lived and respected cultural realities of Brescia. For that reason it is a cultural entity very well-known also at national level.
In the many meetings there have been distinguished speakers and witnesses of the highest level (including some Nobel Prizes), around the themes of peace and human rights, dialogue between science and faith, philosophy and literature, the social and environmental challenges of our time, dialogue between peoples and European construction.
The activity of the CCDC is documented on the www.ccdc.it website, which contains the history of all the initiatives promoted, many texts of the conferences hosted, the extensive press review, some of the 28 agile volumes that collect the conferences and the book by prof. Rolando Anni “The 40 years of the CCDC: a long and passionate history” which traces the path of the Cooperative from its origins to 2016.