A Forgotten Prophet of Vatican II
Among some scattered notes left by Pope John XXIII, we find the following:
"A sad recollection – Fr Ernesto Buonaiuti. Born in Rome – 24 June 1881. My acquaintance for a year at the Seminario Romano (1901). Priest 19 December 1903. My ordination 10 August 1904 at Santa Maria in Monte Santo. He was beside me between Fr Nicola Turchi and me; he had vested me and held the missal between us both. Excommunicated 1921 – again 26 March 1924. Declared vitandus in January 1926. Died 20 April 1946 Holy Saturday. ‘When the bells began to raise their voices after the silence of the Passion, he had the other window of his room opened the better to hear their song. Around one in the afternoon… he suddenly put his hand to his brow saying: “I am failing, I am failing (Vengo meno),” and expired. It was 13.15.’ He died thus then at age 65: sine luce et sine cruce. His admirers wrote of him that he was a deeply and intensely religious spirit, adhering to Christianity with all his fibers, tied by unbreakable bonds to his beloved Catholic Church. Naturally no ecclesiastic to bless his corpse; no temple to welcome its burial. Words of his spiritual testament between the 18 and 19 March of 1946: ‘I may have erred. But I do not find in the substance of my teaching matter to be disowned and retracted.’ Dominus parcat illi."
‘Poor Buonaiuti my companion in studies in Rome, and so gone astray from when presumption of self first beclouded and then extinguished completely the light of faith. Then what an end, poor fellow (poveretto). And to think that he assisted me, precisely he, at my priestly ordination.’ As Pope, he is reported to have said in 1959: ‘I pray for Ernesto every evening and every night. Perhaps the last word has not been said.’
Will the last word be a total rehabilitation of this profoundly Christian and prophetic figure, just as Solzhenitsyn has been totally rehabilitated with the fall of Soviet totalitarianism or just as Galileo has been totally rehabilitated? The countless Catholics who complacently dismissed Buonaiuti as a Modernist, heretic, excommunicate, outcast, may find that they have been blindly subscribing to the decrees of abusive authority. Of course their knockdown argument is that Buonaiuti was a heretic, and therefore the proceedings of the Church against him were justified in principle even if the practical modalities may be deplored. But here again, matters are not so clear. Buonaiuti is somewhat like Origen or Eckhart; he worries the orthodox, who want to be assured that he is not muddying the clear waters of faith. But is this worry based on faith, or on anxiety about identity, or on a clinging to secure, substantial origins, which the biblical revelation was never intended to satisfy? Theologians are people who worry about orthodoxy, but they also worry about this worry itself; the art of theological judgment includes knowing how and when it is opportune to invest in orthodoxy, and when it is better to resist this preoccupation.
Even were one to concede that Buonaiuti was a heretic, he should still have been embraced as a godsend by the Church of his time: he was asking the right questions, and opening up the right paths of development by his stress on the communal, prophetic, and eschatological character of Christianity, his vision of God’s people on their way. A Goethean figure, a Renaissance mind, he was the author of close on four thousand texts (most of them brief notices in his review Religio), chiefly on the history of Christianity, which in his later years he placed in the wider setting of the Mediterranean conflux of eastern and western cultures. From boyhood an ardent explorer of his beloved Rome and its history, he developed over a lifetime of incessant reading and writing a vision and an evaluation of Christian tradition, which also formed a secure basis for the Christianity of the future, envisaged as the movement of a people, linked together by a shared eschatological hope and a spirit that overturned the values of the world.
Buonaiuti’s difficulties with the authorities began early. The famous proposition 22 in Lamentabili (the syllabus of errors preceding Pascendi in 1907) – ‘the dogmas of the Church are not truths fallen from heaven, but a subjective interpretation of certain religious facts’ – may refer to a 1905 article in the 23 year-old Buonaiuti’s Rivista di scienze teologiche, which drew the first attack from his lifelong nemesis Enrico Rosa, SJ, in La Civiltà Cattolica, and which, along with his 1906 visit to Loisy, had brought the loss of his position as teacher of church history at the Seminario Romano. His first book, on Gnosticism, in 1907, brought him an audience with Pius X who admonished him paternally.
Buonaiuti went too far, too fast, in his initial embrace of Modernism. He co-authored the anonymous critique of Pascendi, Il Programma dei modernisti (translated by Tyrrell as The Programme of Modernism), which merited him his first excommunication, at age 26, which he ignored. He was on the list of suspects as the Vatican sought to identify the author or authors. He followed this up in April 1908 with the fiery Lettere d’un prete modernista, also anonymous, which drew a critical reaction from Tyrrell, who saw the modernist program becoming ‘banal and vulgar.’ In July 1908 Fr Gustavo Verdesi told Carlo Bricarelli, SJ, that Buonaiuti was the author, and Bricarelli apprised Pius X of this. Interrogated in December 1908, Buonaiuti signed a declaration of submission in January 1909. In December 1909 Pius X, hearing that the vice-rector of the Irish College, Rome, Msgr John Hagan (1873-1930, rector from 1920) was close to Buonaiuti, who was teaching students there and had published in the college magazine, ordered that Hagan be interrogated about the suspect theologian; his answers were skillfully evasive. A condemnation of Buonaiuti’s review in September 1910 was met with submission from Buonaiuti. In May 1911, Buonaiuti testified in libel action brought by Bricarelli against Verdesi, who had become a Methodist and had accused Bricarelli of breaking the confessional seal; Buonaiuti denounced Verdesi as a collector of false rumors and reaffirmed his unconditional loyalty to the Church.
It is true that, unlike many other Modernists, Buonaiuti was not unceremoniously shafted. He enjoyed a ‘discreet protection’ in the Vatican in the years of Pius X. Buonaiuti spent the summer of 1911 in Ireland with Nicola Turchi. The book they published on Ireland in 1914 was denounced by some Irish priests for ‘un certo sapore iconoclastico.’ Benedict XV, rather than ban it, had the whole edition bought up, which Buonaiuti seemed to see as a favorable alternative to banning it. Buonaiuti’s nomination to a post at the University of Rome in 1915 was not gratifying to the Vatican. There was a certain amount of coming and going between him and high churchmen in connection with his suspensio a divinis in 1916 – resolved when he took the Anti-Modernist Oath, following a liberal interpretation of it suggested to him by Cardinal Pietro Gasparri, Secretary of State – and again in connection with his excommunication of 1921, after which he wrote a long letter to Benedict XV affirming his faith in the Real Presence, to which Cardinal Gasparri responded on the Pope’s behalf; he was visited by Gasparri, and given communion despite his excommunication; he was recovering from an ulcer hemorrhage, and the effort it took him to reject Gasparri’s proposal that he relinquish his teaching position in the University of Rome caused his wound to reopen. The excommunication was lifted when, in a profession of faith published in L’Osservatore Romano, Buonaiuti declared his faith in all the Church teaches and his condemnation of all she condemns.
The excommunication of March 1924, occasioned by reports on his teaching at the University of Rome, when he was told by the secretary of the Holy Office: ‘Avete un cervello troppo diverso dal nostro’(You have a brain too different from ours),remained in force until his death. Various appeals to the Vatican fell flat, since Buonaiuto would not renounce his teaching position at the University; his offer to teach literature instead was rejected. Church and State combined to silence and isolate him; his teaching position and his clerical dress were objects of negotiation in the Concordat discussions between Pius XI and Mussolini; he had to give up both and become a researcher, a post that he finally lost, along with his pension, when he was one of the eleven teachers who refused to take the Fascist oath in 1931; the 1200 other teachers had their consciences tranquillized by church assurances that the oath could be taken with a mental reservation. Now, there was no longer a trace of the questionable compromises of earlier years. Local church authorities had the police called in to stop Buonaiuti giving lectures in Turin, Genoa, Catania, Venice, and La Spezia. In 1937 he attacked a racist book by P. Orano, Gli Ebrei in Italia.
In 1937, his prefect from his teenage years in the Seminario Romano, a friend and fellow-Roman, Cardinal Francesco Marmaggi (whom Buonaiuti hoped to see elected pope) had discussions with him, proposing unconditional submission as the condition of having the excommunication lifted. Marmaggi spoke with him again in the dark days of 1938 when Hitler brought the Swastika to Rome, this time proposing that Buonaiuti write a piece on ‘Roman pilgrims yesterday and today’ for L’Osservatore Romano, which would help to regularize his position with the Church. Buonaiuti wrote the article, but there was no practical follow-up. Marmaggi was sent by Pius XII to the sick Buonaiuti a month before his death, offering reconciliation on the conditions of believing what the Church believes and condemning what it condemns; Buonaiuti could agree to the former, not the latter condition. He referred in a letter to Corrado Barbagallo to ‘inhuman attempts carried out around me by very high church dignitaries to induce me to renege and to make retractions that would have served in their hands to win great credit.’ One is reminded of Galileo’s comings and goings. Both men failed to flatter the papal court; a brief journalistic article introducing the new pope, Pius XI, had the same malign influence in Buonaiuti’s career as an unflattering treatment of Urban VIII had in Galileo’s.
Yet through his friendship with the future John XXIII he may have had an imponderable influence on the conception and spirit of Vatican II. No doubt John XXIII regarded Buonaiuti as one who had lost the faith and deplored his spiritual shipwreck; but at a level beneath these explicit judgments something of Buonaiuti’s mentality may have penetrated. If a new Council is required to deal with the present crisis of Catholicism, it might be a good idea to call on Buonaiuti once again. Bernardino Greco ends his study of Buonaiuti, in 1979, with a lament for the way the Church has forgotten Vatican II, resorting to widespread, silent suppression of theologians, and imprisoning pastors in rigid structures to the detriment of the vitality, spontaneity, freedom and joy of the faithful. If that makes Buonaiuti relevant, he must be much more so thirty years later, when the restorationist reaction is bearing its most bitter fruit. As we enter what promises to be a period of great turbulence and instability, the serenity and good humor of the Italian searcher may stand us in good stead:
"Even if Buonaiuti’s unconventional way of writing history is confusing and even if his predominantly negative criticism of the Church past and present can be disturbing and tiring, this can still be said: his questing and unrest, his discontent with the status quo, his longing for what is to come, for the higher, for the consummation, his eschatological waiting and sighing give to his thought and activity, despite their limits, a gripping and attractive power and, from the viewpoint of the New Testament, great credibility."
A rehabilitation of Buonaiuti would entail a rehabilitation of George Tyrrell as well, since Buonaiuti ends his glowing presentation of Tyrrell in his Storia del cristianesimo with these words:
"Modernism may have been condemned to ostracism and reduced, with methods of unaccustomed violence, to impotence, rendered incapable of a fecund and lasting proselytism; the consequences will have been incalculably lethal in the world of Catholic life, especially in Italy. And the aim of the repression will not have been attained. The deep spirit of modernism will have had its revenge."
The ‘purification of memory’ called for by John Paul II would prescribe at least that these sites of violent rejection be revisited, if not to bless all the views of the excommunicates, at least to bring the issues into a more serene and seasoned perspective. In a sense, Catholicism cannot ‘move on,’ cannot pursue its development, as long as the worrying questions of Modernism remain unresolved and as long as the memory of the episode still hangs in the air as a miasma.
Perhaps the central unresolved issue is the relationship between a dogmatic faith and the insidious impact of the critical historical study of the biblical sources and the history of dogma. Buonaiuti was never an unconditional devotee of historical critique. He disliked Loisy’s icy, Voltairean outlook, and their meeting in August 1906 left him dissatisfied. Being excommunicate and vitandus prompted Loisy to break all links with Rome, whereas it made Buonaiuti ‘more Roman than ever.’ He tended rather to immunize Christianity against historical critique by seeing it as a living mystery that had little to do with problematic claims and concepts.
Heresy and beyond
Was Buonaiuti an irrecuperable heretic? There was confusion on both sides: the theological realism of the anti-Modernists was mixed with a static integrism; the new ideas struggling to be born among the Modernists floundered amid a confused reception of vaguely grasped philosophical ideas such as vitalism and pragmatism. The young Buonaiuti sometimes spoke as a non-realist theologian, who ascribed no ontological value to theism and the immortality of the soul. Borne up by the liberalism permitted under Leo XIII, in a time of intellectual ferment that might be compared with the excitement of 1968, he and his contemporaries were shocked to discover themselves locked into the anti-Modernist crackdown of Pius X, much as the generation of Vatican II has been shocked to find itself overtaken by the restorationism of the last decades. ‘I asked myself in perplexity: in the history of the Christian priesthood has there ever been a generation more unfortunate than mine, the generation born at the start of Leo XIII’s pontificate, which was ordained at the moment in which his large spiritual program seemed to have become an accepted part of the discipline of Catholicism, and instead found itself spending its ministry in the full tide of the anti-modernist reaction, and lives today amid the hopeless loss of bearings into which the Christian tradition has been plunged.’ Newman’s vision of the Church as a living Idea was unintelligible to the authors of Pascendi, who lacked historical and hermeneutical awareness; but the Modernists failed to heed the salutary warnings of Newman against a dissolution of the noetic claims of faith. Had they rallied around Newman, rather than their ideological reduction of his thought, the showdown between Modernists and anti-Modernists might have yielded to something more like a dialogue.
The mature Buonaiuti is not one who formally denies doctrine. Rather he sees the historical centrality acquired by doctrine in the Constantinian Church as a falling off from the original Christian vision. He did not insist on dogmatic clarities, remaining vague as to the ultimate ontological status of Christ. At one point he says: ‘I am the first to proclaim that Christianity implies and supposes a frank and peremptory adherence to dogmas.’ But he does not mean this in Newman’s sense. ‘For the early Christians – the authenticity of whose Christianity we do not think any theologian today will be able to put in doubt – the dogmas of Christianity are three: hope, justice with the brothers, love in joy. We are very disposed to abandon the entire dogmatics of the Council of Trent for these three dogmas of the Letter of Barnabas.’ To live the Christ experience seemed to him immensely more important than to clarify the nature of Christ. He can speak quite unselfconsciously of Christ’s ‘divinity’ or ‘transcendent character.’ The suspicion that he reduced Christianity to a merely social awareness, along the lines of a Durkheimian idea of the function of religion as affirming the society, is encouraged by the summary of his aims that he gives in one of his final letters: ‘To renew the social meaning of the central values of life: love, sorrow, remorse, the unknown of death. Nothing else.’ Yet a few days later, referring to the imminent eschatology of Jesus, he can say: ‘just here I recognize the transcendent character of Christ. Time and space are categories that do not bear on eternal values and absolute realities… The divine that was in Christ made him feel the Kingdom of God not merely imminent, but present.’ The divinity of Christ is intimately linked with his teaching; the Resurrection is not emphasized, nor is the Atonement; yet Buonaiuti lives the Cross: ‘There is salvation only in the Cross… Did the decadence of Christianity not begin the day it thought to recommend its charismatic magisterium and restoring mission to the arid elucubrations of ratiocinating reason?’ Christ is a divine word in history: ‘The incarnate logos gave one of the most stupendous signs of his righteousness’ in the teaching against oaths in the Sermon on the Mount. This may not be the full shilling as far as orthodoxy is concerned, but neither does Buonaiuti proceed to attack orthodox Christology. Vinay’s judgment is peremptory: ‘In his “essence of Christianity” vanishes in many lovely spiritual words the fundamental dogma of Christian faith: the Christ incarnate Son of God, the Christ crucified for the sin of the world, the risen Christ, Christ the Lord.’ One would like to say it is unnecessary to cavil about the caliber of Buonaiuti’s beliefs, and that his Christianity was intact, and instantly recognized and shared by the friends he made among Protestant Christians in Rome and Lausanne in the 1930s. But perhaps it is sufficient to say that ‘His appeal to the essence of Christianity was one-sided, but precisely because of this defect it put more vividly in relief that which official and orthodox Christianity had forgotten about the spirit of the Gospel.’
Buonaiuti tended to make the Real Presence dependent on the faith of the community and their social equality. His ill-fated 1920 essay, ‘Le esperienze fondamentali di Paolo’ (1920) which prompted his excommunication in January 1921 (lifted later that year), refers to Loisy’s Les mystères païens et le mystère chrétien, according to which the Eucharist was originally just a shared meal, with no commemoration of the death of Christ and no words of institution – otherwise Paul would not have needed to recall them in 1 Cor 11:23; indeed they are his own invention!But Loisy, in Buonaiuti’s view, understresses the communal and eschatological character of the Pauline Eucharist, because he is too interested in minute parallels between ideas and expressions of Paul and those of the contemporary religious culture. Buonaiuti sees Paul as a champion of pragmatism, ‘subordination of all the abstract values of culture and speculation to the ethical demands of associational life, and so reduction of the dialectically attained and conceptually formulated truths to translations – not arbitrary, but always dissoluble and surpassable – of the deep instincts of individual and collective life.’ Buonaiuti is not at all a complex philosopher, less so than Newman, and this simple opposition of the concrete and the abstract is sufficient for his purposes.
"Since the rite of the bread and cup is only a commemoration of the restoring death of Christ, to be celebrated until the day when he appears in glory, it must be celebrated in the way that befits a community tightly associated in redemption and hope. The bread and wine of the eucharistic banquet are the body and blood of the Lord, because the fitting participation of the single members of the society, which is itself the body of Christ, in its eucharistic reunions, permits the mystical realization of that body… When such assemblies are held with due dignity and the necessary good order, the bread and wine too that they consume become the body and blood of the Lord."
Buonaiuti was most outspoken in the anonymous Lettere: the Eucharist ‘has taken the place of the banquet in which the first Christians symbolized the fraternity that awaited them in the kingdom. In time came to be formed the doctrine of the real presence, and later that of transubstantiation. The primitive ethical value of the rite was lost through this transformation. We want to recover it. We want the rite to appear, as it is, the exciter of psychic energies and the expression of collective feelings.’ The efficacity of sacraments ex opere operato is one of the ‘obsolete affirmations’ that ‘we neo-catholics’ have jettisoned. The Holy Office’s alacrity in pouncing on the implicit denial of the real presence in ‘Le esperienze fondamentali di Paolo’ is perhaps due to their memory of his more open expression of this view in the anonymous Lettere twelve years previously. Yet despite all this, Buonaiuti champions the wisdom of the Church in rejecting Donatism: ‘If the biblical canon is a column of the Catholic edifice, the theory of the validity of the sacraments, administered by whatever minister, as long as he is regularly invested with his ministry, is its foundation.’ Buonaiuti’s eucharistic devotion in practice was intense. He continued to celebrate the Mass in private after his excommunication, as recommended by the Fr Luigi Orione, beatified in 1980. It was his vivid sense of the meaning of the Eucharist that made him a fierce critic of the prevalent understanding and practice: ‘Suffice it to think of the agapico-eucharistic doctrine of St Paul on one hand and the current doctrine of the prodigious transubstantiation in virtue of a formula in Catholicism, to measure at a glance the abyss that separates the associational mysticism of primitive Christianity from the individualistic miraculism of the current praxis. For Paul Christ is present in the bread when and only when the community itself is before all else the living mystical body of the Lord.’ A contemporary understanding, which sees the eucharistic presence as borne by the transubstantiation or transsignification of the total meal-event into a participation in the Paschal Mystery, might have allowed Buonaiuti to reconcile his Pauline vision with Catholic doctrine. A more relational Christology, in the spirit of 1 Cor 11:24 – my body to hyper hymôn (the for-you) – could overcome the classical focus on the assumption of human nature, which ‘emptied this humanity of the concrete relationships that historically characterized it,’ and could close the gap between dogma and life without diluting dogma.
In the Lettere Paul is one in whom the Gospel vision becomes cold and reflexive: ‘we do not wish to put the work of a St Paul ahead of the most rudimentary formation of a new, more intimate and higher Christian consciousness.’ But soon Buonaiuti discovers that Paul is the great voice of Christianity as a social movement. His later writings on Paul – ‘Le esperienze fondamentali di Paolo’ (1920), San Paolo (1925); Il messaggio di san Paolo (1933), and the chapter in the first volume of the Storia del cristianesimo (1942) – emphasize so strongly the status of the community as the mystical body of Christ that the independent divinity of Christ and the reality of the Eucharistic presence tend to be undermined. For Paul the novelty of Christianity consists in the following: ‘In Christ, humanity, surpassing all the mortifying barriers erected by the rivalries of blood, social status, nature itself, and recovering its original capacity of drawing from its own heart, healed and freed from the letter of the law and the sting of sin which is death, its joyful act of trust in the Father.’ Buonaiuti sees Paul as a visionary of the mystical body. Christ is present above all in the life of his people. The dynamic power of this was curtailed by Petrine bureaucracy and scholasticism, but equally by the focus on individual justification and salvation in the Protestant revolt against this, which missed the true breadth and freedom of Paul’s vision. Buonaiuti’s treatment of Luther’s views on justification in the Storia del cristianesimo is very disappointing; he sees it as cheap grace for a monk who had let his discipline slip. This is closer to the hatchet-jobs of Grisar and Denifle than to a contemporary appreciation of Luther’s theological depth.
For Buonaiuti, the essence of Christianity was not an idea but an event, the birth of a human community inspired by the eschatological vision of Jesus. The core of Christianity is not a set of doctrines or theories but the enactment of the gospel vision. Unlike Loisy, he did not see the message of Jesus as time-bound and as replaced by the different conceptions of the Church. The message was beyond the flux of history and the inspirer of a collective life here and now.
"We should seek the essence of Christianity in the initial preaching of Christ, which offers a point of reference and a yardstick for the whole of Christian history, so that we can thus test whether in the centuries-long development something has been lost or whether the essence of Christianity has really remained unaltered throughout the many cultural, disciplinary and ritual refurbishings of the gospel message across the centuries."
The answer is given again in terms of the deepening of la vita associata. ‘Christianity is an original ethic, vivified and flanked by a luminous and immense eschatological vision, sustained and warmed by a deep soteriological experience.’ Buonaiuti was more aware than most Catholics today of ‘the eschatological tension as a basic disposition of Christianity.’ The eschatological deficit in Catholic consciousness he connected with a pact with worldly power, which he saw as Satanic. One aspect of the ‘dualism’ he embraced was an Augustinian separation of the spheres of religion and politics, which he opposed to the Concordat mentality. His eschatological stance broke the closure of State-worshipping idealist systems, as did his rediscovery of Original Sin and a tragic sense of life fed by ‘the old Christian pessimism, the indestructible dualistic basis of classical Christianity’ as expressed by Tertullian and Augustine. The latter’s City of God is from beginning to end ‘a surprising tissue of contradictions,’ but such contradictions are a sign of life and growth.
As a historian of dogma, Buonaiuti’s idiosyncratic angle is explained by this double investment in eschatology and dualism. He makes much of early Christian millenarism and of Papias, treating Eusebius’s dismissal of him as a blind spot typical of a court theologian who had lost eschatological awareness. Millenarism and gnosticism were two antagonistic currents that ‘would perpetuate themselves in the development of Christian tradition and society, constituting the permanent dramatic ferment of the Christian reality, until the exhaustion of its normative capacity.’ Associating dualism with moral realism, Buonaiuti rehabilitates this aspect of Gnosticism, Marcionism, and Manicheanism, which he sees as re-emerging in the later Augustine; accordingly he rejects Plotinian monism and its denial of substantial evil. He was not philosophical enough to appreciate the merits of this ontology, being more concerned with its concrete moral impact; a similar lack of subtlety marks his rejection of Luther’s thought on justification. A construction negotiation with and accommodation of these philosophical and theological visions, as well as of cognitive dogmatic claims in general, would have greatly enriched Buonaiuti’s thought, and brought it closer to that of the generation who prepared Vatican II.
Marcion’s ‘heroic practice of goodness and disinterestedness’ has no match except in the Franciscans of the 13th century. He was the most courageous, consistent, and perspicacious enemy of the constitution of that median ecclesiastical orthodoxy that was emptying the Christian message of all its heroic and intransigent content.’ ‘What lacerated his heart was the incomprehension of the Christian community toward the originality of the good word of the Gospel,’ and he is not to be blamed for the coincidence between the anti-Jewish persecutions of the time and his own regrettable lack of appreciation for the Old Testament. His opponents misunderstood him, ‘transporting the moral and historical presuppositions of the Pontic master into the realm of speculation and abstract metaphysics. This is always the risk run by religious teachings that place the values of associational morality above those of conceptual schematization.’ Clearly Buonaiuti feels that his own moral and anthropological concerns were prematurely judged in terms of ontology and high dogma. Buonaiuti is also distant toward Origen’s optimistic vision of final reintegration of all creation in God, which is ‘in open contrast with the eschatology of the first Christian centuries.’ Zambarbieri finds this whole account of the first three centuries ambiguous: ‘If one accepts the dialectical scheme, one must admit that the antithetical element is opposed to and extraneous to the thetic one; only in the final synthesis does their “truth” emerge and the contradiction is resolved.’
Dogma he tended to see as a necessary evil, part of the institutionalization and intellectualization that inevitably overtakes all religions as their original spiritual vision wanes, a ‘law of infallible development which constantly leads strong spiritual experiences to be translated and crystallised, with the greatest care, into conceptual formulas.’ Yet ‘in upholding the Trinitarian dogma Christian society put forth a Herculean effort to insist on its autonomous character in face of all established political authority.’ In his earlier phase, he sees the growth of dogma as part of an intellectualist distortion of the Gospel extending from Gnosticism to Aquinas. Following Harnack’s view of the Gnostics as the first systematic theologians, he denounces the disastrous effects of their exaggerated intellectualism on moral life. He rejects Harnack’s claim that the reaction to Gnosticism produced ‘the doctrinal foundations of orthodoxy, the New Testament canon, the hierarchy, the sacramental discipline’ as ‘an artificial and mechanical way of considering the evolution of a religious organism. For Buonaiuti, organic development is opposed to the dialectical development favored by German thinkers. The Church, born of the apostolic preaching, did not develop its Credo and its disciplines only as a formation of reaction to the exaggerations of Gnosis; but by the law that regulates the functioning of every living organism.’ The elements listed by Harnack ‘not only preexisted in the documents of revelation, something we need not demonstrate here; but they evolved, by their own force of expansion.’
In the Lettere he discusses himself: ‘I recall a discussed article of his on the philosophy of action [Blondel] published in 1905 in Studi Religiosi, in which scholasticism was very harshly combated and in which was unambiguously affirmed the relativity of all knowledge and the subjectivity of the religious sentiment’ while dogmatic truths were seen as ‘mere transpositions of practical postulates and guides of action into the abstract realm of conceptual definitions.’ ‘Unfortunately,’ he adds, ‘it seems that the indocile soul of that young man has really closed itself in the silence of the congregation, renouncing the ideal of truth that once smiled on it.’ The Lettere reflect the popularity of pragmatism at this time, and the influence Édouard Le Roy’s Dogme et critique (1903). For Le Roy dogma has a practical bearing and does not offer much cognitive content. It function is negative – to cut off ways of thinking that weaken or distort the Christian vision and way of life. ‘Practical truths can be established and consolidated along paths completely different from those trod by speculative truths. The appeal to authority, so radically unacceptable in the order of pure thought, is perfectly understandable and legitimate in the order of action.’
In contrast, in his mature thought Aquinas is revered and the Middle Ages are celebrated as the high tide of Christian communitarian living, especially in the eschatological or utopian dimension he associates with Bernard of Clairvaux, Francis of Assisi, Joachim of Flora and Dante. The young Buonaiuti underestimated the power of Thomism and naively saluted Pragmatism. His later more appreciative treatments are accompanied by dubitative notes:
"Custodian of the centuries long will of fraternal fusion of human beings in redemption and hope, the Catholic Church has made its own and continues to champion warmly, with greater fervor every day, the still intact validity of Thomist realism. But it is doubtful if she has found the instruments adapted to her message and long-term aim. There are those today who think of repristinating the vitality of Thomism, showing its accord with some problematic and provisional results of the empirical sciences, That is a superficial apologetic, easily contented. Others, at the opposite pole, flatter themselves that they can resuscitate the efficacy of the scholastic tradition by flirting, with astonishing levity, with the most advanced forms of panlogistic subjectivism. They forget that Paul has cursed forever any contamination of Christ with Belial… The specific characters of Thomism are its gnoseological realism and its harmonization of thought with faith. These characters should be taken up anew and saved."
Thomist realism is now saluted as an alternative to the idealism that Buonaiuti had come to see as noxious. Buonaiuti was not a naïve progressivist; he deplored as pride the Hegelian idea of history as a ‘progressive actualization of the spirit.’ The embrace of German idealism by Croce and Gentile smoothed the progress of Fascism in Italy: ‘I felt how the regnant German idealism, so fatefully implanted among us, made so much more difficult and virtually condemned to paralysis in advance any effort to revive those Christian values, the forgetting of which threatened to plunge our civilization into an irreparable disaster.’ ‘The patrons among us of the exotic German idealism held in detestation anything that represented charismatic inspiration… It was necessary to react energetically to the fatuous and depressing legend that the Italian people were functionally incapable of any kind of mysticism or prophetism.’
While his substantial sympathy for Aquinas and Augustine should have brought Buonaiuti close to the heart of Catholic orthodoxy, his penchant for rehabilitating figures at the radical margins of the tradition stems from a spirit of perpetual resistance to the mainstream established outlook. He sees the modern age as one in which all that is deadening in orthodoxy has triumphed. The third volume of his Storia del cristianesimo has two parts, titles ‘The twilight of Christianity’ and ‘Outside Christianity.’ It traces a decline in Christian vitality correlated with a tightening of the dogmatic grip to the point of its becoming a stranglehold. That view was already expressed strongly in his modernist phase: ‘The Church, which ever since the Council of Trent does nothing but ferociously block the progress of souls toward the light of truth; which continues daily to shut itself up in a contempt, ever more spiteful, against the free movements of the human mind; which follows a fatal instinct of all-embracing depression and constriction…’ Trent Buonaiuti sees as a heavy slab calculated to block all subtle development of Catholic thinking, especially on the questions of grace and human freedom. ‘The definitions of Trent signaled the extinguishing of the conceptual and mystical vitality of Catholicism, not so much because of their radical inadaptability to later inductions and more precise doctrinal enunciations,’ as because of short-sighted anti-Protestant triumphalism that lost the classical dialectical outlook of Catholic theology. Had Trent followed Cardinal Contarini in opening up to and absorbing the spirit of the Reformation, Catholicism would have developed in a far healthier way. Estranged from eschatology and dualism, believing that ‘evil possesses no positive consistency, Trent ‘too far removed from the Augustinian vision of life not to oppose to the Lutheran message definitions in terms of Aristotelian speculation.’ Jansenius, a flash of resistance to Tridentine bureaucracy in the name of living spirituality, represents a ‘soul without a form’ – the universality of the Augustinian vision – fighting against ‘a form without a soul’ – the centralism of the Curia, culminating in the dogma of papal infallibility. Modernism tried to overcome this antithesis, producing an organic synthesis worthy of the best periods in Christian tradition.
Buonaiuti reads all of church history in light of his own experiences, e.g.: ‘Celsus, heir of a decrepit civilization, obstinate defender of ideas on the point of extinction, blind conserver of the past, could see in the Christian fact, so young and so gigantic, only a phenomenon of sedition, a revolutionary attempt, a work of dissolution.’ His studies of Joachim see his apocalypticism and prophetism as reviving the world of Jesus; in addition ‘my historical investigation was not unaccompanied by the concern to discover in the past references to the present and admonitions for the crisis that I felt approach in the most intimate texture of Christian tradition.’ Buonaiuti sustained a prophetic and eschatological consciousness, which had been lost in the Church of his day, and read the great figures of church history by the criterion of that consciousness. At a time when the voice of the Hebrew prophets was rarely heard in the Church’s liturgy, Buonaiuti had grasped the originally prophetic texture of the Christian kerygma. If he falls short in doctrinal realism, he makes up for it in prophetic vision, desperately trying to heal a deficit that was injuring the Church of his day. The important achievement of Christian development is not the perfection of a dogmatic system, and is hardly of a noetic order at all. Rather, the struggle is to keep alive the Gospel vision, constantly threatened by the dead weight of institutionalism, by compromise with the world.
It must be conceded that Buonaiuti’s governing ideas – ‘associated life,’ ‘dualism,’ ‘love, sorrow, remorse, death’ – are not very ‘catchy.’ They are not developed with great dialectical finesse, or in really illuminating study of literary and theological texts. His most academic historical work, notably on Christianity in North Africa and on Joachim of Flora, has a lasting value independent of his ideology. He did not flesh out the ideology of associational living in a rethinking of the categories of sociology or Marxism, and his copious commentary on politics and society does not get beyond the journalistic level. His approach to literature and to human experience has a globalizing cast. That he should take Greek literature and Dante seriously as a locus theologicus distinguishes him from most theologians of his time, but he lacked the sharp literary critical acumen of a Romano Guardini.
Buonaiuti’s Account of Development
What most differentiates Buonaiuti’s view of church history from Newman’s, along with his more vividly communal grasp of the Christian idea, is the double impact of Harnack’s History of Dogma and Loisy’s L’Évangile et l’Église (along with Loisy’s work on the Synoptics). In 1923 Buonaiuti discerns in Loisy ‘so generic and indiscriminate a sanction of all the transformations and alterations undergone by the gospel preaching in the course of history as to impede any step to a judgment of value and a discernment of elements.’ Loisy sees all developments as ‘the satisfaction of a dialectical demand immanent in the original message.’ Thus all of Christian history is canonized. In contrast, Buonaiuti has a concrete criterion of good and bad developments in church history, one that integrates Loisy’s emphasis on the eschatological character of the message of Jesus, broadening this to make it a permanent feature of authentic Christian life.
"Loisy rejected Harnack’s effort to distinguish the kernel of true Christianity from the husk of its institutional and doctrinal expressions. ‘Why,’ he asked, ‘should not all the elements of Christianity, in all the forms in which they are conserved, be the essence of Christianity? Why not find the essence of Christianity in the plenitude and totality of its life, which is movement and variety precisely because it is life?’ [L’Évangile et l’Église, 3rd ed. (Bellevue: Chez l’auteur, 1904), xxv-xxvi.] The quotation could also be reversed, as Houtin finally saw in 1907. How could one distinguish any part of Christianity as more essential than any other? Everything was subject to change. There was no ‘essence of revealed doctrine’ to be distinguished from what ‘poorly informed superiors’ thought."
Buonaiuti’s criterion of authentic Christianity did not unduly privilege early texts or periods, and could recognize a revival of authentic Christianity in the imaginative new developments of the Middle Ages.
"Buonaiuti followed Tyrrell in rejecting what may be called Loisy’s germ theory—the idea that all later developments in institutional life and teaching were present in the ministry of Jesus at least in germinal form… Buonaiuti went beyond Loisy in explaining how such results undercut the scholastic theories of revelation and of the development of the church."
Unaware of Loisy’s influence on Tyrrell the Italians sought in him an alternative to ‘historicist rationalism’ – with a stress not on the relative but on the developmental character of truth, as envisioned by Newman.
Buonaiuti does not have a very tight theory of doctrinal development, pursued with rigor across the three sprawling volumes of his Storia del cristianesimo. The work was hastily composed, and recycles earlier material in a slapdash way. Unlike Harnack, Buonaiuti, working outside the academic milieu, does not descend to close philological detail at any point. But the broad humanistic, communitarian, eschatologically ardent vision of Christian life that sustains him lends a breath to his vast fresco that keeps it afloat.
Some of the warmest pages in the Storia del cristianesimo are dedicated to Newman’s theory of the development of doctrine. In his Grammar of Assent Newman sketched ‘with the soul of a prophet and Apostle’ an apologetic that drew not on syllogistic arguments, but on those deep stirrings of the human mind on which can be built ‘the sense of the universal solidarity of people, in the charisms and the vision of the Kingdom of God.’ This apologetic approach cannot be separated from Newman’s ‘celebration of the traditional Catholic concept of living tradition, as formulated in the Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine,’ in which ‘Newman really opened an epoch in the history of Christian thought.’ Aquinas had held that ‘while the concrete reality of the things believed remains unaltered, one could leave to its natural variations the process of uninterrupted assimilation, on the part of the faithful, of the unchanging patrimony of faith.’  When dogmas are lived as ‘schematic and symbolic pointers to the ever present action of God in the life of the individual, history, the cosmos,’  the problem of their evolution seems harmless. It becomes threatening for orthodoxy only when the community’s firm hold on the objects of faith is weakening. Then the fight of the orthodox against this evolution becomes the mummification of formulae that are no longer fulfilling their function.Trent’s reaction to the upsurge of Protestantism invested too heavily in dogmatic rigidity. Bossuet made ‘variations’ the very mark of Protestant error, while Anglicanism, consigning itself to a rigid insistence on the teaching of the first four Councils saw Catholicism as undergoing endless metamorphoses. In this time, Jurieu is a remarkable exception, ‘seeking to transfigure the variations into a proof and principle of fecundity and progress.’ Newman’s University Sermon for February 2, 1843, insists that development is inevitable for great ideas, and if they do not develop they become corrupt. ‘St. Mary is our pattern of faith. She does not think it enough to accept, she dwells upon it; not enough to possess, she uses it; not enough to assent, she developes it; not enough to submit the Reason, she reasons upon it.’ Evidently, Buonaiuti had witnessed this corruption in a Church that rejected development. ‘He wishes to reply to those who are wont to object that theology is a vain science, dangerously parasitical on the surface of the Church and tending to absorb it, threatening to dissipate its best sap through the most fatuous and inconclusive controversies. Newman wants to demonstrate that dogmatics is nothing other than the pragmatist transcription of the demands of associated Christian life. At a distance of more than a half-century the most prominent of the modernists [Tyrrell] will take up a motive of Newman in sustaining that the lex credendi is nothing other than the accompaniment and the clothing of the lex orandi.’ This way of thinking goes back to the Lettere: ‘The divinity of Christ was the spontaneous translation, on the theological terrain, of the ethical values that his work and preaching represented for every baptized believer.’
‘Doubtless dogmas possess value solely in virtue of the spiritual experience they presuppose and enclose.’ But theology is not merely a hunt for scholastic fabrications, ‘for faith and experience continually demand explicit transcriptions, descriptive formulations, schematizing commentary.’ The over simple correlation of experience with dogmas as its transcription and the implicit assessment of dogma by the sole criterion of experience are a short-circuit in Buonaiuti’s pragmatist hermeneutics, to which Newman would not have subscribed. ‘Buonaiuti’s silence about the role of the magisterium in the process of tradition cannot but suggest an impossibility of any objectification of tradition.’ Tradition is thus deprived of what Newman would have considered its backbone. (However, it should be noted that Buonaiuti recognizes the practical role of the magisterium, correlative with the practical function of dogma.)
Henri Bremond misread Newman similarly in 1906; as Maurice Nédoncelle remarks: ‘He enclosed the Newmanian conscience in psychology, whereas one should consider it at least as a phenomenologist, if not as a metaphysician… It is risible to confront conscience and the Immaculate Conception, calling on the former to be for or against the latter, while abstracting from the entirety of sacred history and of the Christian faith as Bremond does.’ Buonaiuti embraces a similar short-circuit in Tyrrell: ‘To adhere to the Christian Credo is not a different act from that whereby we strain forward to adhere to God, because it is nothing other than the form and schema in which the divine presents itself to us and is apprehended by us.’ The intellectual and conceptual dimensions of faith are here reduced too entirely to religious feeling.
‘The process whereby the spiritual patrimony of Christian faith grows, becomes more precise, and multiplies through the labor of doctrinal reflection’ is not exhausted in the logic that derives a series of dogmatic assertions one from the other Already Newman is focusing ‘that spiritual capacity of ours to adhere to transcendent realities, independently of the ephemeral and illusory support of ratiocinative reason.’ Newman’s demonstration that development has been going on not only in medieval or modern Catholicism but right through the period of patristic thought as well revolutionized the shape and texture of Christian history, producing a new ‘criterion of Catholic validity.’ Newman’s set of seven ‘notes’ of authentic development is hailed by Buonaiuti as ‘the most luminous part of the work’; he is no doubt confident that his own thought meets these criteria better than the defensive tactics of the Vatican. He writes: ‘There Newman gives a truly egregious and exquisite demonstration of the multanimous sensibility of his spirit and of the vastness of his culture. The most consummate psychological expertise and the vastest and most sovereign historical erudition meet in this section of the essay.’ The task is to discern ‘the living continuity of an associated religious experience’ from ‘all the overlays of deformation and adulteration of dogmatic formulae, always liable to lose contact with the deep and cogent dialectic of life, especially charismatic life.’ The organic notion of development leads to ‘exceptionally daring analogies, which reveal how broad and elastic was his way of considering the circumstances and modifications of Christian faith across the centuries,’ notably the culminating analogy with the identity of the Chosen People despite the huge differences between their lives in Egypt, in the time of David, and in the time of Titus and Hadrian. On the sixth note, anticipation of future developments, Buonaiuti comments: ‘there is always in faith deeply lived a stupendous anticipation of the future.’
Far from embracing an immanentist dilution of Christianity, Buonaiuti salutes Newman’s most challenging assertions of the irreducibility of the Christian faith, which will always be unwelcome in the world: ‘His deeply religious and evangelical soul felt that for the true Christian the world has only rejection and even contempt. But precisely for this reason the Church should never have appealed to earthly powers, political complicities, social compromises, in order to win the sympathies of the world.’ If we fret about orthodoxy, we may quibble that to be a martyr for the Gospel is not enough, unless one’s gospel faith is firmly charged with the full content of doctrinal assent. ‘His eagle’s gaze had seen at a stroke where the crisis of Christianity in the contemporary world would end up. He wanted to prepare the means for overcoming this crisis. Rome created him cardinal. Leo XIII, with the purple conferred on the humble Oratorian from across the Channel, as with the purples conferred on Pitra and Hergenroether, thought he had endowed his pontifical beginnings with a higher lustre. In reality, he was merely shutting in a stricter enclosure the proselytist capacities of the teaching of Newman, which thirty years later would have been condemned in that movement that represented their logical and fated explanation: modernism’ – just as the vision of Francis of Assisi was tamed by making him the discipliner of a new religious order.
Christianity in Mediterranean Context
Buonaiuti’s conviction that ‘religiosity in general and the Christian religion in particular are attitudes of the spirit in face of the world and life, independent of and superior to any conceptual transcription,’ did not alienate him from the concrete texture of specific traditions. ‘Buonaiuti developed the concept of tradition, enriching it with objective notions of psychology and anthropology of the mind, so as to make it virtually the fundamental criterion of understanding, of the consolidated patrimony of the spiritual realities of civilization, in which tradition consists.’ In later years, Buonaiuti was becoming an interreligious explorer, tracing the Greek and Hebrew traditions back to Zarathustra. He placed Christianity in its historical matrix, amid the welter of Mediterranean spirituality, and he saw the latter as one tradition within world spirituality. ‘Millennia since, the first prophetic-messianic religion, the religion of Zarathustra, sought to shift forcibly the basis of human spiritual life from magical adoration of cosmic forces to the intimate sensation of the moral character of universal life and of the conflict between life and non-life, light and darkness, good and evil.’ Vinay finds that this syncretistic outlook on the religions is based on an illusion of perspective: ‘Referring them to his own faith he communicates to them an evangelical felling, and inadvertently gives them Christian colors.’ His view of the religions as fruits of historical human insight makes the novelty of Christianity merely relative with respect to the faiths of the past.
‘Mediterranean religiosity, which culminated in Christianity, constitutes one of these nuclei [of human spirituality]: probably the highest, probably the definitive one. But this is not confined to a single book, a single score, a single chorus. All the peoples that have successively gravitated to the Mediterranean basin have intoned their motives which the invisible Guide has combined in a single choir.’ Buonaiuti’s Mediterranean culture is shown in Amore e morte nei tragici greci, La fede di nostri padri, and La vita dello spirito, as well as in his contributions to the Eranos symposia. He was not at ease with the Jungian ideology of the Eranos circle, and he was surprised when his incisive critique of St Ignatius’s Spiritual Exercises, seen as a great falling off from the older, more integrated European spirituality,met with a defensive reaction from them.
Buonaiuti was also very conscious of Asia as a sacral presence at the frontiers of Europe, as he shows in his essays on Aeschylus and Tolstoy. Reaching back beyond the Eleusinian Mysteries to primitive agrarian rites in which sexual coupling stimulated the growth of the crops, Buonaiuti broadened the basis of his religious vision. All of this has affinities with Loisy’s claim that ‘the roots of Christianity lie not only in Judaism but also in the ancient pagan religions through the intermediary of the mystery cults.’; sexuality is absent, except in his final work, in which he seems to have recognized that a Mediterranean spirituality might approach sexuality more positively than Paul, though still focusing primarily on possibilities of ‘sublimation and transfiguration of the sexual instinct.’
One of Buonaiuti’s most exalted utterances is the speech he gave in Oxford in 1937, in the context of the World Congress of Faiths, which is reproduced in his autobiography. Here he deplores the waning of faith at a time when science is making immense strides, and urges a return to the very basis of religiosity.:
"The crisis of faith today is not a denominational crisis, but a crisis of wider spirituality. We ask ourselves hesitantly if the crisis does not affect every form of faith, every form of religious tradition, and we even ask if the problem, as it poses itself to anyone who notes the anxious anxiety of the world, is not the problem of the very possibility of faith, of the possible delineation of its content, of the necessity of a return to that sensation of the sacral mystery of the universe, form which religion draws its primitive impulse and its continual renewal."
This return has a historical aspect, in a remembrance of the earliest phases of European religious development:
"One could say that in the highlands of Hindu-Kush European civilization and Asiatic civilization one day bade farewell to one another, to meet again, whenever it would be, on the way toward the highest unfolding of their capacities and their ideals. You know the old custom of guests in the ancient world. At the moment of parting they exchange fragments of the same bone so that they can recognize each other on the day when, meeting on the way, they can verify their perfect fit... Our fathers exchanged the symbols of their brotherhood and solidarity, so that when one day, tired of their wandering, they would have the delight of meeting again under the same roof, they could at once renew mutual understanding in the primordial unity of blood… Now we are exchanging the symbols of our distant communality of faith and hope, so that from this wounded human family may rise up again the awareness of shared solidarity in the eternal values of faith… It is this awareness that we must retrieve, so as to rediscover, in the faiths, the Faith and in the forms of human science the one science that guards humanity against becoming… savage and barbaric."
Amid the ‘universal shipwreck of religious faiths’ we must ‘concentrate the energies of our spirit to escape the purely metaphysical conceptions of the world, to which church traditions have accustomed us, and to hold to a conception that is strictly and exclusively mystico-moral.’ ‘The great religions reformed by Zarathustra, from Buddhism to Christianity, do not place the essence of religious life in the problem of the nature of God, but rather in that of our comportment toward the Divine in the world and in the life of human beings.’ ‘“Have you seen your brother?” the early Christians said to one another, “You have seen your God. Bow down and adore.” Here is the basic formula of all religious faith.’ ‘Our spiritual asphyxiation began the day we sought to make of faith a rational mechanism and of our religious sense a mathematical calculus. Nor should one think that, taking faith back to that pre-logical and pre-dialectical stage that is its specific domain, we risk impoverishing the fullness of our spiritual life. There are many realities in the world that are unknown to philosophy and that are hidden in the folds of our conscious capacity to attain the sacral reality outside us, which have nothing to do with the process of our syllogizing attitude. The contrary is the case. The hypertrophied development of the rational capacities of an individual and of a collectivity are always to the detriment of the full, healthy, integral life of the Spirit,’ as Bergson showed; ‘Is not faith, in its primordial content, in its functional dialectic, precisely a matter of coming into direct contact with the central and mysterious core of life?’ We should approach that mystery ‘in an act of reverent trepidation, seeking light, not imposing formulas.’ Rather we must close our eyes, as Eastern mysticism urges, and turn our inward gaze to spiritual realities, making of our ephemeral existence ‘a voluntary holocaust to the principles of the good and the luminous that carry to a providential destiny the immense machine of universal existences.’ ‘Faith, a faith worthy of that name, should today more than ever struggle to fill the abyss that our presumptuous metaphysics and our arid dogmatics have dug between us and the Father who is in Heaven.’ Buonaiuti hardly needed Bergson to discover l’élan vital nor Rudolf Otto to discover the numinous in all of creation; had he known of Teilhard de Chardin he would surely have rejoiced.
Perhaps this was Buonaiuti’s finest hour, when he stood before an inter-faith gathering as an apostle of world faiths, or of a primordial faith underlying them all. The name that came to his mind then was that of another Italian who had known a moment of glory in Oxford: Giordano Bruno:
"The philosophy of the Renaissance was beating its full rhythm, and in face of a curial dogmatics that had drafted at Trent the framework of its ideological and disciplinary petrification, and had therewith lost in a mad claim to dialectical coherence the true force of Christian revelation, a force that by definition is composed at the same time of transcendence and immanence, Giordano Bruno cast himself recklessly on the pole of absolute immanence, focusing too one-sidedly on the tremor of the divine found in the infinity of calculable and incalculable worlds and of human associated experience,"
thus losing ‘one of the two foci around which the ellipse of historical Christian experience expands.’ ‘I felt at a distance of three centuries how the parabola of Christian decadence, in the double form of Jesuit dogmatics and naturalist or idealist immanentism, had reached its definitive epilogue.’
Buonaiuti is an essential reference for theological judgment today, because of the values he chose as he criterion of Christian authenticity. These were not tidy values, which could be encapsulated in dogmatic formulae, but values of life, values of the heart. His vision of human community may rely too much on the heart, but it was not a facile dream. It was forged in the crucible of deep disappointment with human community, both in the Church and in European society. His capacity to rise above this disappointment, by going back to the most hallowed resources of religious and cultural tradition, is a remarkable triumph of faith and vision.
 Actually June 25, according to Fausto Parente, Ernesto Buonaiuti (Rome: Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana, 1971), p. 5.
 Marcella Ravà, Bibliografia degli scritti di Ernesto Buonaiuti (Florence: La Nuova Italia, 1951), p. xx.
 I diari di Giovanni XXIII, I (Il Giornale dell’Anima), ed. Alberto Melloni (Bologna: Istituto per le scienze religiose, 1987), p. 205. Roncalli was assigned as walking companion to Buonaiuti in the seminary, to do him good, and must have formed in those conversations some of the thoughts that would prevail in Vatican II; see also Enrico Galavotti, Processo a Papa Giovanni: La causa di canonizzazione di A. G. Roncalli (1965-2000) (Bologna: Il Mulino, 2005), pp. 152-3; Lucia Butturini, ‘Tradizione e rinnovamento nelle riflessioni del giovane Roncalli,’ in Enzo Bianchi et al., Un cristiano sul trono di Pietro: Studi storici su Giovanni XXIII (Gorle: Servitium, 2003), pp. 13-70; p. 16. ‘I have learned a lot from Don Ernesto’ (Giordano Bruno Guerri, Eretico e profeta: Ernesto Buonaiuti, un prete contro la Chiesa [Milan: Mondadori, 2001], p. 261). He visited the Blessed Sacrament at the Gesù with Buonaiuti and two other later Modernists, Giulio Belvederi and Alfonso Manaresi. The tone of Mater et Magistra recalls Buonaiuti’s vita associata (Guerri, p. 267). Roncalli used notes of Buonaiuti when teaching church history at the Bergamo seminary; see Francesco Mores, ‘Lezioni di storia: Angelo Roncalli, Ernesto Buonaiuti et un libro ritrovato, in Grado Giovanni Merlo and F. Mores, ed. L’ora che il mondo sta attraversando: Giovanni XXIII di fronte alla storia (Rome: Storia e letteratura, 2009), pp. 355-65.
 I diari di Giovanni XXIII, V/1, ed. Étienne Fouilloux (Bologna : Istituto per le scienze religiose, 2004), p. 300.
 Quoted, Guerri, pp. 3, 264. John consulted Ravà’s bibliography just before the Council; he may have asked to see some of the texts (pp. 265-6). He reread Buonaiuti’s Pius XII (Rome: Universale di Roma, 1946) in 1962, deploring is as malicious and unjust, but perhaps influenced by it all the same. In the book, Buonaiuti deplores that two brothers of a distinguished Roman family, Eugenio and Francesco Pacelli, should have conducted the negotiations for the Concordats with Hitler and Mussolini.
 This is suggested in an appendix to the Lettere di un prete modernista, not found in the second edition(Rome: Universale di Roma, 1948) nor in the re-edition in Daniele Rolando, ed. Il Modernismo italiano: Le Lettere di Buonaiuti e la obiezioni di Prezzolini (Genoa: Name, 2000); see Parente, p. 17. Loisy sees the proposition as a distortion of a statement of his own; Simples réflexions, pp. 60-2.
 Lo gnosticismo (Rome: Francesco Ferrari, 1907); see Parente, p. 22.
 Parente, p. 24.
 Parente, pp. 31-2. ‘A document that is disconcerting because of its aggressivity and its evident cultural superficiality, no less than for its presumptuous ambition to offer syntheses and definitive judgments on complex and debated problems. How could a scholar, a religious and sensitive spirit, such as that of Buonaiuti arrive at such a pass? What resentments or preoccupations dominated him? To what moral, spiritual, and psychological experience are the Lettere linked? Impossible to answer.’ (Pietro Scoppola, Crisi modernista e rinnovamento cattolico in Italia (Bologna: Il Mulino, 1961), pp. 273-4.
 For the text of the denunciation, see Valdo Vinay, Ernesto Buonaiuti e l’Italia religiosa del suo tempo (Torre Pellice: Claudiana, 1956), pp. 58-9.
 Parente, pp. 34-5.
 Such petty micro-management and espionage was typical of Pius X; see Alejandro M. Dieguez and Sergio Pagano, ed. Le Carte del ‘Sacro Tavolo’: Aspetti del Pontificato di Pio X dai documenti del suo archivio privato (Vatican City: Archivio Segreto Vaticano, 2006). The college magazine (The Seven Hills) mentions Buonaiuti as a guest of honor in 1905; it published his lectures to the Oliver Plunket Society on Harnack and Loisy in 1906. Nicola Turchi and Luigi Chiesa were expelled from the Irish College under Msgr Michael O’Riordan (d. 1919) for their modernist views; Hagan succeed him as rector. Buonaiuti knew the next rector Michael Curran also (rector 1930-39), but saw him as a careerist. See Annibale Zambarbieri, Il cattolicesimo tra crisi e rinnovamento: Ernesto Buonaiuti et Enrico Rosa nella prima fase della polemica modernista (Brescia : Morcellina, 1979), pp. 288, 327-8; Carlo Fantappiè, ed. Lettere di Ernesto Buonaiuti ad Arturo Carlo Jemolo 1921-1941 (Rome: Ministero per i beni culturali e ambientali, 1997), pp. 127-8, 196-7. Hagan’s attempts to warn Buonaiuti against “thorny” subjects fell on deaf ears; his friendship with Buonaiuti was used by the British Legation in an attempt to block his succession as rector in 1920; he had to defend his orthodoxy in letters to the Vatican Cardinal Donato Sbarretti; Dermot Keogh claims that Hagan was one of the last priests to be investigated for Modernism (Ireland and the Vatican: The Politics and Diplomacy of Church-State Relations [Cork University Press, 1995], p. 31). See also www.irishcollege.org/archives.
 Parente, p. 37.
 Parente, p. 38.
 Parente, p. 22.
 L’isola di smeraldo: Impressioni e note di un viaggio in Irlanda (Turin: Bocca, 1914). See also Impressions of Ireland (Dublin: Gill, 1913; available online); Italian original in Escursione spirituali (Rome: Libreria di scienze e lettere, 1921), pp. 11-46; see also pp. 6-7, 119-25. Unlike Latin religion, focused on the afterlife, ‘the Celtic-Irish religiosity is born from the actual sense of the divine, which accompanies, feeds, sustains daily life… The dogmas of revelation, ecclesiastical magisterium, actual presence of God are not cold intellectual formulas for the Irish, but truths incarnate in practice and tangible in the acts of daily life’ (pp. 29-30). Did his critics find shades of ‘Celtic spirituality’ and ‘New Age’ avant la lettre?
 Pellegrino, p. 173; see Parente, pp. 41-2. Later this method of suppression was used aggressively against Buonaiuti’s publications. I have heard of one case in which an Italian bishop in 2010 bought up an eccentric publication by one of this priests.
 Parente, pp. 47-8.
 Parente, pp. 52-3.
 Pellegrino, p. 220; Parente, p. 55.
 Parente, p. 55.
 Pellegrino, p. 244; Parente, pp. 60-1.
 Parente, p. 70.
 Pellegrino, pp. 326-32. The oath read: ‘I swear fidelity to the King, to his Royal successors and to the Fascist Regime… to exercice the office of teacher and to fulfil all academic duties, with the purpose of forming citizens who are industrious, upright and devoted to the Fatherland and to the Fascist Regime’ (p. 327).
 Parente, p. 86.
 Parente, p. 90.
 Pellegrino, pp. 435-43.
 Pellegrino, pp. 489-97.
 Ravà, p. xix; see Guerri, pp. 256-8.
 See Pellegrino, pp. 228-32; Jean-Yves Boriaud, Galilée: L’Église contre la science (Paris: Perrin, 2010), pp. 176-7. On the difficulties of the present Roman court in admitting the mistakes made with Galileo, see ib., pp. 260-6, and Alberto Melloni, ‘Galileo al Vaticano II: Storia d’una citizione e della sua ombra,’ Cristianesimo nella storia 31 (2009):127-59.
 Bernardino Greco, Ketzer oder Prophet?Evangelium und Kirche bei dem Modernisten Ernesto Buonaiuti (1881-1946) (Gütersloh: Benziger, 1979), p. 182.
 Greco, p. 183.
 Storia del cristianesimo (Milan: dall’Oglio, 1942-3), III, p. 655. For an upbeat account of the triumph of modernist ideas in the other Christian churches and among educated Catholics, see Il modernismo cattolico (Modena: Guanda, 1943), pp. 259-65.
 See the contrasting accounts in Lettere, pp. 95-8(Il modernismo italiano, pp. 109-11) and Pellegrino, pp. 70-2, 309. Far warmer was his meeting with Tyrrell the following year: ‘We separated weeping’ (p. 79). See also Zambarbieri, p. 321.
 Pellegrino, p. 70.
 Zambarbieri, p. 418, referring to a 1907 letter to Albert Houtin; this non-realism is evident also in Lettere (see Parente, p. 29).
 A parallel suggested by Alberto Melloni. See Scoppola, pp. 62-126, on ‘the cultural reawakening in Italian Catholicism,’ in the years 1901-6.
 Pellegrino, p. 321. While Aeterni Patris, the encyclical in which Leo XIII acclaimed Thomism as the official philosophy of the Church laid the basis for the narrow Thomist monopoly imposed under Pius X, it also opened wider horizons that would be recovered by such scholars as Rousselot, Maréchal, Gilson, Maritain, Chenu, Rahner and Lonergan.
 Pellegrino, p. 479.
 Pellegrino, p. 482; see Storia del cristianesimo, I, p. 65.
 As suggested by Alberto Pincherle, ‘Storico dei primi secoli,’ in: Enrico Buonaiuti storico del cristianesimo (Rome: Istituto Storico Italiano per il Medio Evo, 1978), pp. 43-53; p. 47.
 Letter to Guido Cagnola, March 6, 1946; Lorenzo Bedeschi, Buonaiuti, il Concordato e la Chiesa (Milan: Il Saggiatore, 1970),p. 458 (signaled by Guerri, p. 275). Buonaiuti is quoting himself here; the same words occur in Storia del cristianesimo III, pp. 748-9: ‘Already the prophets, and in Hellenic culture the tragedians, had discovered the intimately dramatic and contradictory atmosphere of sacrality in which live and flourish the central values of associated life: love and sorrow, remorse and the sense of death’; see also Pellegrino, pp. 345, 464-5. Already in Il messaggio di Paolo he identifies ‘the four primordial and elementary feelings, from the interweaving of which human religiosity draws its origin and nourishment: love, sorrow, remorse, the nightmare of death’ (p. 71), again with references to Greek myth and tragedy. The same quartet organizes Dante come profeta (Modena: Guanda, 1936); here Dante is linked with Joachim of Flora (as also in La prima rinascita [Varese: dall’Oglio, 1952]), whom the Church ostracized, preferring ‘the insidious path of rational speculation which is by essence the born adversary of the charismatic vision of life’ (p. 12).
 Letter to Cagnola, March 10, 1946; Bedeschi, p. 461. The same idea is expressed in Pellegrino: ‘Is it not perfectly natural that one who lives entirely devoted to pursuing and sharing in that future immortality should feel the barriers of time already cancelled and should see as present that which is future? (p. 213).
 Pellegrino, p. 326.
 Pellegrino, p. 331.
 Vinay, p. 145; for a defense of Buonaiuti against this criticism, by Marcella Ravà, see Greco, p. 70.
 Ib., p. 147.
 Loisy, Les mystères païens et le mystère chrétien (Paris: Émile Nourry, 1914), pp. 283-4.
 Buonaiuti, Il messaggio di Paolo, presented by Mauro Pesce (Cosenza: Lionello Giordano, 1988), p. 117.
 Il messaggio di Paolo, p. 118. Paul’s pragmatism is on a far higher plane than the utilitarian American version, because his vision of human society has a transcendent depth (Pellegrino, p. 197).
 Il messaggio di Paolo, p. 126. Greco says that ‘the presence of Christ in the Eucharist can only be “the supernatural confirmation [Bestätigung; Ital. sanzione, sanction] of the harmony and fraternity in the solidary life of the community”’ (p. 151); but note that it is ‘the eucharistic rite,’ not ‘the presence of Christ’ that is so described by Buonaiuti (Il messaggio di Paolo, p. 127); the passage recurs in Storia del cristianesimo I, p. 59 (where armonia and affratellamento are replaced by their synonyms concordia and fraternità. Buonaiuti continued to celebrate the Eucharist with friends after his excommunication (Greco, p. 152).
 Lettere, p. 141 (Il modernismo italiano, pp. 140-1).
 Lettere, p. 128 (Il modernismo italiano, p. 132).
 Pellegrino, p. 153.
 Pellegrino, p. 413; Guerri, p. 126.
 Pellegrino, pp. 466-7.
 See Giuseppe Ruggieri, ‘Imago Dei e relazione,’ in Alberto Melloni and Riccardo Saccenti, ed. In the Image of God (Berlin: LIT, 2010), pp. 369-81; p. 376.
 Lettere, p. 161 (Il modernismo italiano, p. 153).
 From Adolf Deissmann he learnt that the language of the New Testament was that of the lower classes (Pincherle, p. 46; see also Parente, p. 36, and Parente’s essay in Ernesto Buonaiuti storico del cristianesimo, ‘Ernesto Buonaiuti e gli altri storici del cristianesimo e della chiesa antica,’ 159-88; pp. 179-80).
 Il bando cristiano, p. 73.
 Buonaiuti reviewed Denifle favorably in 1905; see Boris Ulianich, ‘Buonaiuti storico della Riforma,’ in Ernesto Buonaiuto storico del cristianesimo, pp. 87-158; p. 88. In the Lettere (p. 138; Il modernismo italiano p.139) Luther was seen as one who hymns the beauty of life, but fails to proclaim that there is no need of justification where there is no sin; correlatively, Paul is seen as the first corrupter of Christianity because of his dualism! Much of the material in Storia is recycled from Lutero e la Riforma in Germania (1926). He is still stuck with the perspective of Denifle, though he knows and appreciates the outstanding works of Holl, Mackinnon, Loewenich, Lortz (Ulianich, pp. 136-7). Ernst Benz tried hard to overcome this blind spot of Buonaiuti’s (Ricordi, pp. 17-18). Benz suspects Buonaiuti of a ‘deep-rooted anti-German complex’ and notes that ‘Kant, alongside Luther, was equally a frequent whipping-boy of his lectures’ (19). Buonaiuti saw Beethoven’s Ninth, however, as ‘the charismatic new creation of a Christian liturgy… the highest expression of an exultant joy-filled hymn of praise at the beginning of the Kingdom of God’ (20). In 1937, Buonaiuti was inspired by a work of Albert Rivaud to see Kant and Hegel as part of the conditioning of Germany to accept the madness of Hitler (Pellegrino, p. 426).
 See Zambarbieri, p. 411.
 L’essenza del cristianesimo (Rome: Tipografia del Senato, 1922), p. 64:
 Ib., p. 67.
 ‘Die eschatologische Spannung als Grundhaltung des Christentums’ (Hans Küng, preface to Greco, Ketzer oder Prophet?, p. 10).
 Pellegrino, p. 596. Interestingly, Baron von Hügel chided Tyrrell in a letter of May 14, 1907, for his immanentism and recalled him to a ‘Dualism of spiritual experience and movement’ (cited, Scoppola, p. 203).
 Storia del cristianesimo, I, p. 377.
 I, p. 82.
 I, p. 116.
 I, pp. 112-3.
 I, p. 117.
 I, p. 120.
 I, p. 127.
 In La chiesa romana (Milan: Gilardi e Noto, 1933) Buonaiuti attacks Nazi anti-Semitism in the same breath as he recalls Marcion’s opposition to what he saw as the dangerous, warlike Old Testament image of God (pp. 216-7).
 Storia del cristianesimo, I, p. 124.
 I, p. 213.
 Zambarbieri, pp. 300-1.
 Pellegrino, p. 483. Domenico Grasso contests a reference to Buddhism in an article of 1907, claiming that Buonaiuti gives a charismatic view of Buddhist origins a priori and that he knows nothing about its alleged dogmatic evolution – for such has never occurred! See Il cristianesimo di Ernesto Buonaiuti (Brescia: Morcelliana, 1953), pp. 47, 200. In reality Buddhism carried the conceptual analysis of spiritual experience further than any other religion. Buonaiuti remarks in the same year that internal criticism of the Buddhist scriptures has not yet distinguished the primitive teaching from later deformations; he suggests that the practical, ethical teaching is early, the metaphysical speculation and the suicidal desire of extinction late (Lo gnosticismo, p. 14). Grasso’s book contains many other oddities, such as the denial that hope is of the essence of religion (p. 46), his claim that the Germans always respected Roman Jews in Pius XII’s time, and his supposition that Buonaiuti, because of his stress on community, was incapable of conceiving the human being as an individual. See the critical remarks of Greco, p. 69. In a later article Grasso writes: ‘Slowly, however, he realized the impossibility of this attempt [to reconcile Christian values with philosophical immanentism], mocked by the representatives of Italian idealist culture, and returned to the scholastic-Thomist tradition. What always remained ambiguous in his thought is the foundation of these values. What was Christianity for Buonaiuti? Word of God, or a mere human word, however sublime? An element of culture, essential for Mediterranean tradition, or divine revelation to be received in faith?… Did he believe in the Trinity, the divinity of Christ, the divine origin of the Church? On these basic problems, after the modernist period in which he had given a negative answer interpreting them in the light of an immanentist vision of the real, he was unable to utter a precise and unequivocal word. But this does not mean we should not see in him a convinced and pugnacious assertor of the necessity of spiritual and Christian values, to give to associated life motivations that make it possible and worthy of being lived.’ (‘Alcuni scritti di Ernesto Buonaiuti,’ La Civiltà\Cattolica 123 (1972):258-62; p. 259. He questions the story of Cardinal Marmaggi’s visit to the dying Buonaiuti (p. 261), apparently unaware of the above-quoted letter of Buonaiuti published a few days after his death. Invidiously, Grasso repeatedly refers to Buonaiuti as ‘the ex-priest,’ despite the latter’s insistence on his priestly vocation and status to the end.
 La chiesa romana, p. 102.
 Lo gnosticismo, pp. 259, 280.
 See Luigi Paggiaro, Il Modernismo a cinquanta anni dalla sua condanna (Padua: Presbyterium, 1957), p. 99.
 Lo gnosticismo, pp. 259-61.
 Lettere, pp. 124-5 (Il modernismo italiano, p. 130).
 See Daniel G. Schultenover, SJ, The Reception of Pragmatism in France and the Rise of Roman Catholic Modernism, 1890-1914 (Washington, D. C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 2009).
 Vinay, p. 27; Storia del cristianesimo, III, pp. 630-4; Le Roy, Dogme et critique, 3rd ed.(Paris: Bloud, 1907). Tyrrell was cool toward pragmatism, and did not share Buonaiuti’s social and eschatological emphases either (Scoppola, p. 290). Buonaiuti associated Le Roy’s pragmatism with Poincaré’s scientific conventionalism (Zambarbieri, pp. 307-8).
 Storia del cristianesimo III, p. 633.
 Il bando cristiano ed alcuni suoi interpreti (Rome: De Carlo, 1946), p. 242. This volume, reediting the booklets published in the 1920s in the series I profili (on Jesus, Paul, Jerome, Ambrose, Augustine, Thomas, Jansenius, Pascal), was to have contained a portrait of Newman on the centenary of his conversion. Buonaiuti’s final illness prevented this, but he did write three pages, in which he question whether the Catholic Church has a right to commemorate Newman’s conversion unless it first evaluates and uses its immense spiritual significance (p. 329). Anglicans should have marked the anniversary, for Newman brought so much that was English and ecumenical into Roman orthodoxy. Tyrrell believed that in condemning Modernism as the synthesis of all heresies the Roman Curia had condemned ‘the very principles of Newman’s apologetic’ (p. 330). ‘Whatever else was Modernism but the effort, awkward and bitter, if one will, and stumbling, but intimately right and sane, to draw forth Catholic vitality from the paralysis of its dogmatic forms, too rigidly understood, and to call in aid, for the revival of Christian inspiration among us, those subterranean capacities of the spirit, which rejoin the light of truth across the difficult paths of the subconscious and the instinctive?’ (p. 330).
 Pellegrino di Roma: La generazione dell’esodo (Rome: Gaffi, 2008).
 Pellegrino, p. 309.
 Pellegrino, p. 306.
 Lettere di un prete modernista, pp. 50-51 (Il Modernismo italiano, p. 81); also Lettere, p. 195 (not reproduced in Il Modernismo italiano).
 Il bando cristiano, p. 249.
 Pietre miliari nella storia del cristianesimo (Modena: Guanda, 1935), pp. 212-3; Storia del cristianesimo, III, pp. 195-7.
 Storia del cristianesimo, III, pp. 212, 213.
 Il bando cristiano, pp. 279-80.
 Saggi di Storia del Cristianesimo (Vicenza: Neri Pozza, 1957), p. 151 (written in 1906).
 Pellegrino, p. 307.
 Il cristianesimo nell’Africa romana (Bari: Laterza, 1928).
 Two essays of 1928-9 in Saggi di Storia del Cristianesimo, pp. 327-82; Buonaiuti, ed. Joachim of Flora, Tractatus super Quatuor Evangelia (Rome: Istituto Storico Italiano per il Medio Evo, 1930) and De Articulis Fidei (Rome, 1936); Gioacchino da Fiore (1931; ed. Antonio Crocco, Cosenza: Lionello Giordano, 1984). Henri de Lubac, in his frosty survey, La postérité spirituelle de Joachim de Flore (Paris: Lethielleux, 1979, 1981), remarks that Joachim inspires ‘spiritual movements that don’t want to leave the margins of Christianity. Thus an Ernesto Buonaiuti saw in him the best guarantor of his modernism. A Friedrich Heiler [friend and supporter of Buonaiuti] also had recourse to him (rather abusively) in is ecumenical dream of “a complete transformation of the papal institution”’ (II, p. 437).
 Alfred Loisy (Rome: Formiggini, 1923), p. 21.
 Ib., p. 22.
 Harvey Hill, in H. Hill, Louis-Pierre Sardella, and C. J. Talar, By Those Who Knew Them: French Modernists Left, Right, & Center (Washington, D. C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 2008), p. 118.
 Nancey Murphy, Theology in the Age of Scientific Reasoning (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1990), p. 118. However, in the 1907 book on Gnosticism, ‘the doctrines and institutions of the third century Church were contained in germ in the Gospel’ (Zambarbieri, p. 299, citing Lo gnosticismo, pp. 263-4, 267). Andrew Pierce points out that the later Tyrrell denied absolutely that dogma develops at all.
 Lester Kurtz, The Politics of Heresy (Berkeley:University of California Press, 1986), p. 85.
 Buonaiuti refers to Newman already in a November 1905 article in Rivista storico-critica, ‘Il dogma nella storia.’ Roncalli wrote on this topic in 1909, distancing Newman from Tyrrell and Loisy. See Butturini, pp. 42-5.
 Storia del cristianesimo, III, p. 548.
 III, p. 549. Thomas saw that the object of faith ‘is multiplied in virtue of its different possible enunciations’ (Il modernismo cattolico, p. 139). Buonaiuti even sees the possibility of a good Thomist revival based on this side of St. Thomas (p. 140). But this would have to be based on ‘a courageous return to the true sources, accompanied by a deep familiarity with the laws that have presided over the progressive development of all Christian thought’; ‘That is what essentially distinguishes the Thomist crusade preached by Leo XIII from the petty and spiteful attitudes that degenerated Thomism took up under the pontificate of Pius X’ (p. 141).
 III, p. 550.
 John Henry Newman, Fifteen Sermons Preached Before the University of Oxford (University of Notre Dame Press, 1997), p. 313.
 III, pp. 551-2.
 Lettere, p. 173 (Il modernismo italiano, p. 159).
 III, p. 552.
 Zambarbieri, p. 413.
 ‘Newman selon Bremond,’ in M. Nédoncelle and Jean Dagens, ed. Entretiens sur Henri Bremond (Paris : Mouton, 1967), pp. 43-68; p. 54, referring to H. Bremond, Newman : Essai de biographie psychologique (Paris : Bloud et Gay, 1913), pp. 414-15. Henri Gouhier remarks in the discussion of Nédoncelle’s paper: ‘Newman is behind – indeed within – L’Évangile et l’Église,’ and Nédoncelle agrees that Loisy’s interpretation of Newman, in an essay of 1898, influenced Bremond (p. 64); for Loisy, development happens under the influence of the ‘vital principle’ (p. 65). Elsewhere in the same volume, Nédoncelle notes as characteristic of the Modernists their ‘impatience and hasty generalizations. Even when they made detailed studies, they leapt to general conclusions that seem imprudent to us’ (p. 90). Buonaiuti is always drafting such general views.
 Storia del cristianesimo III, p. 655.
 III, p. 552.
 III, p. 553.
 III, p. 555.
 III, pp. 555-6.
 III, p. 556.
 III, pp. 559-60.
 III, p. 561.
 III, p. 562.
 Pellegrino, p. 80.
 Raffaello Morghen, ‘Tradizione cristiana e civiltà mediterranea nel pensioro storico di Ernesto Buonaiuti,’ in Ernesto Buonaiuti storico del cristianesimo, pp. 23-41; p. 33.
 Pellegrino, p. 458.
 Vinay, p. 167.
 La religione di nostri padri (1943), quoted by Niccolo Sigillino in Il bando cristiano, p. xiii.
 Third edition, Florence: La Nuova Italia, 1944.
 Modena: Guanda, 1944.
 Roma: De Carlo, 1948.
 Pellegrino, p. 346.
 Pellegrino, p. 407; see Buonaiuti, Die exkommunierte Kirche, ed. Ernst Benz(Zurich: Rhein-Verlag, 1968), pp. 204-17.
 See L’anno del risveglio: Scritti giornalistici (Varese: dall’Oglio, 1971), pp. 93-8; 168-70; he also notes with interest the revival of Catholicism in Japan (pp. 159-61). For Buonaiuti’s reactions to Tolstoy and Dostoievski, see Ambrogio Donini, ed. La vita allo sparaggio: Lettere a Missir (1926-1946) (Florence: La Nuova Italia, 1980), pp. 30, 46, 50, 61, 108, 408-9.
 Les mystères païens et le mystère chrétien, p. 5. Paul’s soteriology is modeled on ‘the pagan myth of the immolated god, as one meets it in the mysteries of Dionysos’ (pp. 248-9). ‘Christ as spirit becomes a collective person of which each individual is but an element’ (p. 263).
 I rapporti sessuali nell’esperienza religiosa del mondo mediterraneo (Rome: De Carlo, 1946).
 Ravà, p. 151. Grasso indulges in cherchez la femme hermeneutics, and the best he can come up with it the suggestion that in this book Buonaiuti succumbs to the seduction of post-war American permissiveness.
 Pellegrino, pp. 454-5. Buonaiuti is very much under the influence of Rudolf Otto, whom he translated into Italian; a new Italian translation of Das Heilige is currently being prepared by Stefano Bancalari.
 Pellegrino, pp. 456-8.
 Pellegrino, p. 459.
 Pellegrino, pp. 459-60.
 Pellegrino, p. 466.
 Pellegrino, p. 462.
 Pellegrino, p. 463.
 Pellegrino, pp. 463-4.
 Pellegrino, p. 469.
 Pellegrino, pp. 472-3.