Alberigo, Giuseppe 1926-
ALBERIGO, Giuseppe 1926-
Born January 21, 1926, in Varese, Italy; son of Giovanni and Eugenia (Banfi) Alberigo; married Angela Nicora; children: Anna, Stefano, Paola. Education: Catholic University (Milan, Italy), doctor of jurisprudence, 1948. Religion: Roman Catholic.
Home—Via Mazzini 82, Bologna, Italy 40138. Office—Fondazione per le Scienze Religiose "Giovanni XXIII," V. San Vitale 114, Bologna, Italy 40125. E-mail—[email protected].
University of Florence, Florence, Italy, lecturer and full professor, 1951-54; University of Modena, Italy, full professor, 1954-67; University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy, University Professor, 1967-2001. Secretary general, Istituto per le Scienze Religiose, 1962—; president, Fondazione per le Scienze Religiose "Giovanni XXIII," 1980—.
Honorary degrees from colleges in Munich, Germany, 1990, Strasbourg, France, 1996, and Münster, Germany, 1999.
I vescovi Italiani al concilio di Trento, 1545-1547, Sansoni, 1959.
(Editor) Conciliorum Oecumenicorum Decreta, Herder-EDB, 1962, new edition, 1991.
Cardinalato e collegialita, Vallecchi, 1969.
Chiesa conciliare, Paideia, 1981.
Les conciles oecumeniques, CERF, 1994.
Dalla laguna al Tevere: Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli da San Marco a San Pietro, Il Mulino, 2000.
"HISTORY OF VATICAN II" 1959-1965 SERIES; EDITOR
Announcing and Preparing Vatican Council II: Toward a New Era in Catholicism, Orbis (Maryknoll, NY), 1996.
(With Joseph A. Komonchak) The Formation of the Council's Identity: First Period and Intersession, Orbis (Maryknoll, NY), 1998.
The Mature Council: Second Period and Intersession, Orbis (Maryknoll, NY), 2000.
Giuseppe Alberigo is the editor of the ongoing "History of Vatican II, 1959-1965," a proposed five-volume history of the historical Catholic Church council of the 1960s. The council introduced sweeping reforms in church doctrine and opened the church to reengage itself with the larger world. Alberigo is "probably the greatest authority of the history of the council," according to Sebastian Karotemprel writing in the International Bulletin of Missionary Research. The "History of Vatican II," Adrian Hastings maintained in the Journal of Ecclesiastical History, "represents modern Catholic historical scholarship at its most international, open and authoritative. It is likely to provide an understanding of the council with a depth hitherto unattained."
The Second Vatican Council was proposed by Pope John XXIII in 1959. The Council was charged with reexamining the Church's role in the modern world and modernizing canon law. Some 2,500 bishops were called to Rome from around the world, while suggestions for Council discussion topics were solicited from Catholic seminaries and universities. Among the reforms proposed by the Council were masses said not in Latin but in the national languages of the people, a strong advocacy of religious freedom, an interest in speaking for the world's poor, and a proposal that the pope travel worldwide to meet his people. The Council also fostered a growth in dialogue between the Catholic Church and other Christian churches. Because Pope John died in 1963, before the Council had finished its work, it was left to Pope Paul VI to interpret its proposals and institute its ideas. In his "History of Vatican II" Alberigo details the behind-the-scenes conflicts between those church leaders who wanted drastic reforms and those who called for caution. These details were long kept secret because of church policy; many of the debates have only now come to light in Alberigo's history.
Robert E. Sullivan in America believed that Alberigo's history "promises to be indispensable." Jeffrey Gros in Christian Century concluded that "we can only be grateful to the scholars who have focused these rich historical resources so that these events can become part of the memory of a wider community of readers." Reviewing the first volume in the series, Announcing and Preparing Vatican Council II: Toward a New Era in Catholicism, Owen Chadwick described the work in the English Historical Review as "a weighty contribution to knowledge."
Alberigo told CA: "My primary motivation for writing is the hope of offering a historical approach to the knowledge not only of Christianity itself as a fundament of human life, experiences and culture, but also of the church and of the various other social, political and artistic realities influenced by Christianity.
"I am inspired by those people (historians, politicians and theologists) I consider as a sort of guide, as my masters, namely Giuseppe Dossetti, Hubert Jedin, Delio Cantimori, and Pope John XXIII. Then, I'm obviously influenced by contemporary crucial events.
"Starting from my first interests related to ecumenism and conciliarism, I came step by step to focus my attention on what I consider the most important event in the contemporary Church History, that is the Second Vatican Council. So, beginning from my first inspiration, through the analysis of bibliography and sources, I reached a historical consciousness that culminated in my largest work, the "History of Vatican II" series.
"The primary impulses in choosing my subjects were my being deeply Christian, my interest in what surrounds me and the necessity to continue the ecumenical approach to life that my masters inspired in me."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
America, August 31, 1996, Robert E. Sullivan, review of Announcing and Preparing for Vatican Council II: Toward a New Era in Catholicism, p. 28; February 20, 1999, David Toolan, review of The Formation of the Council's Identity: First Period and Intersession, p. 24.
Christian Century, November 13, 1996, Jeffrey Gros, review of Announcing and Preparing for Vatican Council II, p. 1119.
English Historical Review, February, 1998, Owen Chadwick, review of Announcing and Preparing for Vatican Council II, p. 250.
First Things, June, 2001, George Weigel, review of The Formation of the Council's Identity, p. 52.
International Bulletin of Missionary Research, October, 2002, Sebastian Karotemprel, review of The Mature Council: Second Period and Intersession, p. 182.
Journal of Ecclesiastical History, July, 1997, Adrian Hastings, review of Announcing and Preparing for Vatican Council II, p. 598.
National Catholic Reporter, June 28, 1996, Gary MacEoin, review of Announcing and Preparing for Vatican Council II, p. 18; October 9, 1998, Gary MacEion, review of The Formation of the Council's Identity, p. 12; September 22, 2000, Gary MacEoin, review of The Mature Council, p. 20.
Theological Studies, December, 1996, George H. Tavard, review of Announcing and Preparing for Vatican Council II, p. 757; September, 1999, James Hennesey, review of The Formation of the Council's Identity, p. 555; June, 2001, Michael G. Lawler, review of The Mature Council, p. 384.