Massimo Faggioli

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Massimo Faggioli (born 1970) is a Church historian, Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at Villanova University (Philadelphia) and contributing writer to Commonweal magazine. He was on the faculty at the University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, Minnesota) from 2009 to 2016, where he was the founding director of the Institute for Catholicism and Citizenship (2014-2015). Since 2017 he has been an adjunct professor at the Broken Bay Institute - The Australian Institute of Theological Education in Sydney, Australia.

Early Work[edit]

His dissertation discussed the history of the appointment of bishops after the Council of Trent. He studied theology at the Karl-Eberhards-Universität Tübingen from 1999 to 2000 and was invited to work as a post-doctoral researcher in the Faculté de Théologie et Sciences Religieuses at the Université Laval, Québec, in spring 2002.

He worked in the John XXIII Foundation for Religious Studies in Bologna between 1996 and 2008 and received his Ph.D. from the University of Turin in 2002. He was visiting adjunct professor at the University of Bologna, the University of Modena e Reggio Emilia, and at the Free University of Bolzano.

He moved to the United States in 2008, where he was visiting fellow at the Jesuit Institute at Boston College in 2008 and 2009.


He is full professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at Villanova University (Philadelphia). He had been founding director (2014-2015) of the Institute for Catholicism and Citizenship and on the faculty in the Department of Theology at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul (Minnesota) between 2009 and 2016. He writes regularly for newspapers and journals on the Church, religion and politics, frequently gives public lectures on the Church and on Vatican II, and he is co-chair of the new study group “Vatican II Studies” for the “American Academy of Religion” (2012–2016). He has lectured in North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia. His publication record includes books (author and editor), articles and essays, book reviews, documentaries, and newspaper columns. His books and essays have been published in academic journals in Europe, North America, Latin America, and Asia, in Italian, English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, and Czech.

His "Annual Cardinal Joseph Bernardin Lecture" held at the University of South Carolina on October 7, 2013 and published in "America Magazine" on February 24, 2014 issue, focusing on the relationship between Catholics and politics,[1] sparked a debate with Catholic moral theologians such as William Cavanaugh and Michael Baxter.

Since November 2014 he is columnist for La Croix International (formerly Global Pulse Magazine). In November 2015 he started writing for dotCommonweal blog. He also has a column in the Italian Catholic magazine Jesus and in Huffington Post. Since September 2016 he is contributing writer to Commonweal magazine.

Select publications[edit]

  • Il vescovo e il concilio. Modello episcopale e aggiornamento al Vaticano II, Il Mulino, Bologna 2005, 476 pp.
  • Breve storia dei movimenti cattolici, Carocci, Roma 2008, 146 pp. (Spanish translation: Historia y evolución de los movimientos católicos. De León XIII a Benedicto XVI, Madrid: PPC Editorial, 2011, pp. 224)
  • Vatican II: The Battle for Meaning, New York/Mahwah, NJ, Paulist Press 2012, pp. 207 (Italian translation: Interpretare il Vaticano II. Storia di un dibattito, Bologna, EDB, 2013, 160 pp.; Portuguese translation: Vaticano II. A luta pelo sentido, translated by Jaime A. Clasen, São Paulo, Editora Paulinas Brasil, 2013, 216 pp.)
  • True Reform. Liturgy and Ecclesiology in Sacrosanctum Concilium, Collegeville MN, Liturgical Press 2012, pp. 188 (Italian translation: Vera riforma. Liturgia ed ecclesiologia nel Vaticano II, Bologna, EDB, 2013, 192 pp.; German translation: Sacrosanctum Concilium. Der Schlüssel zum Zweiten Vatikanischen Konzil, Freiburg i.B., Herder, 2015).
  • Nello spirito del concilio. Movimenti ecclesiali e recezione del Vaticano II, Cinisello B.: San Paolo, 2013, 160 pp.
  • Papa Francesco e la “chiesa-mondo”, Roma, Armando Editore, 2014, 96 pp.
  • Pope John XXIII. The Medicine of Mercy, Collegeville MN, Liturgical Press, 2014, 160 pp.
  • Sorting Out Catholicism. Brief History of the New Ecclesial Movements, Collegeville MN, Liturgical Press, 2014, 224 pp.
  • Pope Francis. Tradition in Transition, New York, Paulist Press, 2015, 104 pp.
  • A Council for the Global Church. Receiving Vatican II in History, Minneapolis, Fortress Press, 2015, 350 pp.
  • The Legacy of Vatican II, eds. Massimo Faggioli and Andrea Vicini SJ, New York, Paulist Press, 2015, 320 pp.
  • The Rising Laity. Ecclesial Movements since Vatican II, New York, Paulist Press, 2016, 176 pp.
  • Catholicism and Citizenship. Political Cultures of the Church in the 21st Century, Collegeville MN, Liturgical Press, 2017, 165 pp.
  • Cattolicesimo, nazionalismo, cosmopolitismo. Chiesa, società e politica dal Vaticano II a papa Francesco, Roma, Armando Editore, 2018, 176 pp.


  • "Yves Congar Award for Theological Excellence" from Barry University in Miami, Florida on January 24, 2019[2].
  • Catholic Press Association Award 2018 for the book "Catholicism and Citizenship: Political Cultures of the Church in the Twenty-First Century" (Collegeville MN, Liturgical Press 2017), third place in the category “Faithful citizenship / religious freedom”.
  • Honorary doctorate in Sacred Theology from Sacred Heart University (Connecticut) (February 7, 2018).
  • "Jerome Award" (year 2017) of the Catholic Library Association awarded in recognition of outstanding contribution and commitment to excellence in scholarship.
  • Excellence in Publishing Book Awards (year 2015) of Association of Catholic Publishers for the book Sorting Out Catholicism: Brief History of the New Ecclesial Movements (Collegeville MN: Liturgical Press, 2014), first place ex aequo in the category “General interest”.
  • The books True Reform: Liturgy and Ecclesiology in Sacrosanctum Concilium (Liturgical Press, 2012) and Vatican II: The Battle for Meaning (Paulist Press, 2012) were among the five finalists in the theology category in the “Excellence in Publishing Awards” sponsored by the Association of Catholic Publishers (year 2013). True Reform took third place in the Theology category in the ACP 2013 Book Awards.
  • The article “Vatican II at 50: Promises Made Promises Delivered”, published in the October 2012 issue of Liguorian Magazine, won second place for “Best Coverage of the 50th Anniversary of Vatican II’s Opening” at the 2013 Catholic Press Awards.


  1. ^ "A View From Abroad: The shrinking common ground in the American church". America. 11 February 2014. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  2. ^ "Massimo Faggioli receives "Yves Congar Award for Theological Excellence -- 2019" at Barry University in Miami, Florida". Barry University Media SIte. Barry University. Retrieved 26 February 2019.

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