Faculty Publications

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Book Review

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Many scholars in the field of American religious and theological history may never have heard the name of Luigi Giussani (1922-2005) because he spent most of his life in his home country Italy, his proficiency in English was limited to reading literacy, and the majority of his writings were not concerned with American religious history anyway. Giussani was a Catholic priest, theologian, high school teacher, professor, and founder of the international movement Comunione e Liberazione. He was closely acquainted with Pope John Paul II and the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. His influence on Italian and European religious life and culture was tremendous, and he may be considered one of the “most formative theologians of young Italian minds” in the second half of the 20th century (ix). Although most of his works deal with other topics, some of his early writings deal specifically with the history of American Protestant theology. Giussani had a particular interest in Protestant-Catholic dialogue and the experiential religious sense found in American Protestant theology. To make this earlier research available to a broader public, McGill-Queen’s University Press translated into English the original Italian edition Teologia Protestante Americana: Profilo Storico, a fruit of his post-doctoral research (1965-1969), published by La Scuola Cattolica at Venegono Inferiore in 1968.