Antonio Fogazzaro and the Development of Liberal Catholicism in Modern Italy

by Caldwell, Margaret Ashley

Abstract (Summary)
This thesis examines the cultural and political development of Liberal Catholicism in modern Italy. The events of the Risorgimento had deprived the Catholic Church of her temporal power in 1860 after the Second War of Italian Unification. Pius IX then promulgated Non expedit. The encyclical refused to recognize the Kingdom of Italy and forbade Italian Catholics from participating in local or national elections in the new liberal regime. In fin de siècle Italy, the Church consistently pursued anti-nationalist, reactionary policies, but there were many Catholic laymen who believed that the survival of the Catholic Church in the modern world depended on her capacity to adapt to modern civilization. An analysis of the life and works of Antonio Fogazzaro illustrates one of the many possibilities for political Catholicism in fin de siècle Italy. Fogazzaro came of age during this revolutionary period in the Catholic Church, and through his most important novels, Daniele Cortis, Il piccolo mondo antico, and Il Santo, he offered Italian Catholics a way of thinking about political Catholicism in an ostensibly apolitical Church. After the publication of Il Santo in 1905, Fogazzaro received condemnation from the Congregation of the Index. In his ninety-three-page encyclical Pascendi di dominici gregis of 8 September 1907, Pius X then denounced him in the modernist controversy. Ultimately, Fogazzaro accepted the judgments of the Holy Tribunal and remained attached the Catholic tradition he revered. His works represent a departure from religious traditionalism and literalism as well as a move toward the development of liberal Catholicism in modern Italy.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Richard Drake; Robert H. Greene; Paul Dietrich

School:The University of Montana

School Location:USA - Montana

Source Type:Master's Thesis



Date of Publication:01/15/2009

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