The Popes against the Protestants

The Vatican and Evangelical Christianity in Fascist Italy

Kevin Madigan

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Based on previously undisclosed archival materials, this book tells the fascinating, untold, and troubling story of an anti-Protestant campaign in Italy that lasted longer, consumed more clerical energy and cultural space, and generated far more literature than the war against Italy’s Jewish population.
Because clerical leaders in Rome were seeking to build a new Catholic world in the aftermath of the Great War, Protestants embodied a special menace, and were seen as carriers of dangers like heresy, secularism, modernity, and Americanism—as potent threats to the Catholic precepts that were the true foundations of Italian civilization, values, and culture. The pope and cardinals framed the threat of evangelical Christianity as a peril not only to the Catholic Church but to the fascist government as well, recruiting some very powerful fascist officials to their cause.
This important book is the first full account of this dangerous alliance.

Kevin Madigan is Winn Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Harvard Divinity School. He lives in Cambridge, MA.

"Many Americans will be surprised, as I was, that one of the Vatican’s main worries in the 1930s was a small but successful mission effort of evangelical Protestants in Italy. This would all be comical if were not being played out during the real tragedy of fascism. Madigan masterfully sees all sides of this little-known episode."—Garry Wills
ISBN: 9780300215861
Publication Date: August 17, 2021
376 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4

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