Famous Italian Theologians

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St Francis of Assisi
4
Birthdate: 1181 AD
Birthplace: Assisi, Italy
Died: October 3, 1226

An Italian Catholic friar, deacon, mystic, and preacher, St Francis of Assisi was the founder of the men's Order of Friars Minor and the women's Order of Saint Clare. He arranged for the first Christmas live nativity scene in 1223. Also known as Francesco, he is one of the most venerated religious figures in Christianity.

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Anselm of Canterbury
(Saint, Philosopher)

Anselm of Canterbury
4
Birthdate: 1033 AD
Birthplace: Aosta, Italy
Died: April 21, 1109

Owing to his quality classical education, Anselm of Canterbury became one of the finest Latinists of his time. As Archbishop of Canterbury, he resisted the English kings and was exiled. He is now remembered as a significant figure in the Investiture Controversy, which pitted the king against the pope.

 3 
Gregory of Nazianzus
(4th-century Archbishop of Constantinople and theologian)

Gregory of Nazianzus
3
Birthdate: 0329 AD
Birthplace: Nazianzus, Cappadocia, Turkey
Died: January 24, 0390
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 4 
Bonaventure
(Theologian)

Bonaventure
4
Birthdate: 1221 AD
Birthplace: Civita di Bagnoregio, Italy
Died: July 15, 1274

Bonaventure was an Italian philosopher, scholastic theologian, and Franciscan. A prominent philosopher, Bonaventure wrote on various subjects and his writings are considered substantial. Bonaventure, who served as the Cardinal Bishop of Albano, was canonized by Pope Sixtus IV on 14 April 1482.

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Hippolytus of Rome
(Theologian)

Hippolytus of Rome
3
Birthdate: 0170 AD
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: 0235 AD

Remembered as the first antipope, Hippolytus of Rome is believed to have gone against the Roman popes and led a group against the bishop of Rome. Before dying as a martyr, though, he reconciled with Pontian and called out to his supporters to reunite with Rome.

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Robert Bellarmine
(Jesuit and a cardinal of the Catholic Church)

Robert Bellarmine
3
Birthdate: October 4, 1542
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Montepulciano, Italy
Died: September 17, 1621

Robert Bellarmine was an Italian Jesuit and cardinal of the Catholic Church. One of the most important figures in the Counter-Reformation, he has been named a Doctor of the Church. He has also been canonized as a saint. He was a  professor of theology at the Roman College and later became its rector. He became Archbishop of Capua in 1602. 

 7 
Maria Gaetana Agnesi
(Mathematician, Philosopher, Theologian)

Maria Gaetana Agnesi
3
Birthdate: May 16, 1718
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Milan, Italy
Died: January 9, 1799

Italian mathematician Maria Gaetana Agnesi, daughter of an affluent silk trader, was well-versed in a number of languages as a child. Most of her work was regarding algebra, calculus, and the Witch of Agnesi. She was also the first female academic to write a math book and to teach math.

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 8 
Gabriele Amorth
(Catholic priest, Writer, Theologian)

Gabriele Amorth
4
Birthdate: May 1, 1925
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Modena
Died: September 16, 2016

Exorcist and Catholic priest Gabriele Amorth had been in charge of countless exorcisms in his career of over 6 decades. The founder-president of the International Association of Exorcists, he had also penned a few books on his experiences as an exorcist and had been part of World War II, too.

 9 
Joachim of Fiore
(Theologian)

Joachim of Fiore
3
Birthdate: 1135 AD
Birthplace: Celico, Italy
Died: March 30, 1202

Italian Christian theologian Joachim of Fiore is best remembered as the man behind the San Giovanni monastic order. His brand of philosophy of history mentioned the ages of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Initially a notary, he began his spiritual quest after a visit to the Holy Land.

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Tommaso Campanella
(Philosopher)

Tommaso Campanella
3
Birthdate: September 5, 1568
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Stilo, Italy
Died: May 21, 1639

Tommaso Campanella was an Italian Dominican friar, philosopher, astrologer, and poet. His heterodox views often brought him into conflict with the authorities, and he was imprisoned for several years. In prison, he wrote The City of the Sun, a utopia describing an egalitarian theocratic society. He also defended astronomer Galileo Galilei in his first trial. 

 11 
Bruno Platter
(Theologian, Catholic priest)

Bruno Platter
4
Birthdate: March 21, 1944
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ritten

Bruno Platter, the Grand Master of the Teutonic Order, had also been the Rector of the Church of St. George earlier. A doctor of theology from the University of Innsbruck, he had also worked as a provincial economist. He was the President of Poland’s guest at the Battle of Grunwald’s 600th anniversary.

 12 
Peter Lombard
(Theologian, Bishop of Paris)

Peter Lombard
3
Birthdate: 1096 AD
Birthplace: Lumellogno, Italy
Died: July 22, 1160

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Peter Martyr Vermigli
3
Birthdate: September 8, 1499
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: November 12, 1562

Italian reformer Peter Martyr Vermigli was born to a shoemaker and was initially an abbot at St. Peter ad Aram. He is best known for siding with the Calvinist doctrine of the Eucharist and had penned works such as Loci Communes. He also developed his very own idea of double predestination.

Lawrence of Brindisi
2
Birthdate: July 22, 1559
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Brindisi, Italy
Died: July 22, 1619

Lawrence of Brindisi was a Roman Catholic priest and a theologian. He was an accomplished linguist and could read and speak native Italian, Latin, Hebrew, Greek, Spanish, and German fluently. Ordained a priest at 23,  he was elected the superior of the Capuchin Franciscan province of Tuscany at 31. He was canonized as a saint in December 1881.  

 15 
Angelo Scola
(Archbishop of Milan from 2011 to 2017)

Angelo Scola
4
Birthdate: November 7, 1941
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Malgrate, Italy

Theologian Angelo Scola, a Cardinal of the Catholic Church, was named the Archbishop of Milan by Pope Benedict XVI and has also served as the Patriarch of Venice. The son of a truck driver, he later gained a doctorate in Christian philosophy. He has also penned works on bio-medical ethics and sexuality.

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John of Capistrano
3
Birthdate: June 24, 1386
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Capestrano, Italy
Died: October 23, 1456

John of Capistrano was a Franciscan friar and Catholic priest also known as  “the Soldier Saint.” He hailed from the Italian town of Capestrano, Abruzzo, and was a renowned preacher, theologian, and inquisitor. In 1456, he led a crusade against the invading Ottoman Empire at the siege of Belgrade. He is the patron saint of jurists and military chaplains. 

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Achille Silvestrini
(Former cardinal of the Catholic Church)

Achille Silvestrini
2
Birthdate: October 25, 1923
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Brisighella, Italy
Died: August 29, 2019

Achille Silvestrini was an Italian cardinal of the Catholic Church. He was ordained a priest in July 1946 in the cathedral of Faenza and proceeded to earn a doctorate in canon and civil law at the Pontifical Lateran University. He served in the Vatican diplomatic corps for many decades and was appointed the Grand Chancellor of the Pontifical Oriental Institute. 

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Tyrannius Rufinus
2
Birthdate: 0344 AD
Birthplace: Concordia, Italy
Died: 0411 AD

Tyrannius Rufinus was a monk, historian, and theologian best remembered as a translator of Greek patristic material into Latin. He was born to Christian parents and chose to live the life of a monk. He spent many years of his life translating the numerous works of Christian scholar Origen from Greek to Latin. He also translated Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History. 

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Alphonsus Liguori
3
Birthdate: September 27, 1696
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Marianella, Naples, Italy
Died: August 1, 1787

Catholic bishop Alphonsus Liguori was the man behind the formation of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, also known as the Redemptorists. He stepped into his spiritual life after an 8-year stint as a lawyer. He is also remembered for his works on moral theology and equiprobabilism.

 20 
Giles of Rome
(Philosopher)

Giles of Rome
2
Birthdate: 1247 AD
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: December 22, 1316

Augustinian philosopher and theologian Giles of Rome, known to be a disciple of St. Thomas Aquinas, was a major figure of St. Augustine’s Order of the Hermit Friars. Named Doctor Fundatissimus, which is Latin for the Best-Grounded Teacher, by Pope Benedict XIV, he is also remembered for his commentaries on Aristotle’s Organon.

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Fausto Sozzini
(Theologian)

Fausto Sozzini
2
Birthdate: December 5, 1539
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Siena, Italy
Died: March 4, 1604

Fausto Sozzini was an Italian theologian who co-founded the non-trinitarian Christian belief system known as Socinianism. His treatise De auctoritate scripturae sacrae, published in 1570, was highly influential on Remonstrant thinkers such as Simon Episcopius. He traveled a lot, spending time in Geneva, Florence, Basel, and Poland. He also authored several non-theological doctrines. 

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Antonio Rosmini
(Philosopher)

Antonio Rosmini
2
Birthdate: March 25, 1797
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Rovereto, Italy
Died: July 1, 1855

Antonio Rosmini was an Italian Roman Catholic priest and philosopher who founded the Rosminians, officially known as the Institute of Charity. A key figure in Italian Liberal Catholicism, he pioneered the concept of social justice. He had a doctorate in theology and canon law and was appointed as a political advisor to the government of Piedmont. 

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Gasparo Contarini
2
Birthdate: October 16, 1483
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: August 24, 1542

Gasparo Contarini was an Italian diplomat and cardinal who served as the Bishop of Belluno. He received his scientific and philosophical training at the University of Padua and was selected to be the Roman Republic's ambassador to Charles V, King of Spain. He also participated in the Diet of Worms and was later made a cardinal.   

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Giovanni Canestri
(Theologian, University teacher, Catholic priest)

Giovanni Canestri
2
Birthdate: September 30, 1918
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Castelspina
Died: April 29, 2015

Giovanni Canestri was an Italian Catholic cardinal. He served as the Archbishop of Genoa from 1987 until 1995. Prior to this, he was the Archbishop of Cagliari from 1984 until 1987. Ordained a priest in 1941, he went on to become the spiritual director of the Pontifical Roman Seminary. He was later made a Cardinal-Priest of Sant'Andrea Della Valle. 

 25 
Domenico Barberi
(Theologian)

Domenico Barberi
1
Birthdate: June 22, 1792
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Viterbo, Italy
Died: August 27, 1849

Italian mystic and theologian Domenico Barberi was born into a peasant family and had no formal education. Ordained a priest, he later began his career as a lecturer of theology and a missionary. He was also the man behind four Passionist houses in England and had plans to establish one in Ireland.

 26 
Ersilio Tonini
(Theologian, Catholic priest)

Ersilio Tonini
1
Birthdate: July 20, 1914
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: San Giorgio Piacentino
Died: July 28, 2013

Ersilio Tonini was an Italian Cardinal of the Catholic Church who served as the Archbishop of Ravenna-Cervia from 1975 to 1990. He was eventually elevated to the cardinalate. He was the pastor of the parish of Salsomaggiore for many years and was appointed the Bishop of Macerata-Tolentino by Pope Paul VI. He preached the Lenten spiritual exercises to the pope. 

 27 
Lanfranc
(Jurist)

Lanfranc
3
Birthdate: 1005 AD
Birthplace: Pavia, Italy
Died: May 24, 1089

Initially a lawyer, Lanfranc later taught at a school he founded. He eventually renounced his career to enter the Benedictine ministry as a monk. He discovered a conspiracy by some earls against William of Normandy. He later served as the abbot of St Stephen and as the archbishop of Canterbury.

 28 
Caelestius
(Theologian)

Caelestius
1
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Campania, Italy

Caelestius was an influential theologian in early Christianity. He was a devoted follower of the Christian teacher Pelagius and the Christian doctrine of Pelagianism. With his propaganda, he was successful in convincing many people to convert. Since their teachings were opposed to Augustine of Hippo, Caelestius and Pelagius were repeatedly condemned and called “heretics.” 

 29 
Thomas Cajetan
(Philosopher)

Thomas Cajetan
2
Birthdate: February 20, 1469
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Gaeta, Italy
Died: August 9, 1534

Thomist school theologian and philosopher Thomas Cajetan began his spiritual career with the Dominican order. Initially a professor of metaphysics, he criticized Scotism. He is best remembered for his commentary on St. Thomas Aquinas’s Summa Theologica. He also penned critical works and commentaries on Aristotle and others.

 30 
Paul Of Venice
(Philosopher)

Paul Of Venice
1
Birthdate: 1369 AD
Birthplace: Udine
Died: June 15, 1429

Paul Of Venice was a Catholic theologian, philosopher, and logician. He was also a metaphysician of the Order of Saint Augustine. He was just 14 when he joined the Augustinian Order at the convent of Santo Stefano in Venice. He then proceeded to complete his studies at the University of Padua and became a lecturer.  

 31 
Gregory Of Rimini
(Philosopher)

Gregory Of Rimini
1
Birthdate: 1300 AD
Birthplace: Rimini, Italy
Died: October 31, 1358

Gregory of Rimini was one of the most recognized and greatest theologians and scholastic philosophers of the Middle Ages. He is credited with uniting the Parisian and Oxonian traditions in 14th-century philosophy. Such was the impact of his work, that the effects lasted late into the Medieval Period and Reformation. Many of his philosophical works influenced people like Pierre d'Ailly.

 32 
Novatian
(Scholar)

Novatian
2
Birthdate: 0200 AD
Birthplace: Phrygia
Died: 0258 AD

Remembered as the second anti-pope, Novatian was also the first Roman theologian who wrote in Latin. Apart from developing Novatian Schism and studying apostasy, he also built his own church, despite immense opposition. He is believed to have been martyred after fleeing Rome during the persecution of Christians.

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Giovanni Diodati
(Theologian)

Giovanni Diodati
1
Birthdate: June 3, 1576
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Geneva, Switzerland
Died: October 3, 1649
Giovanni Diodati was a Calvinist translator and theologian whose translation of the Bible from Hebrew, Latin, Syriac, and Greek sources into Italian became the most reliable version of the book for Italian Protestants. In addition to translating the Bible into Italian, Giovanni Diodati also translated it into French, which made him popular in France as well.

 34 
Felice Leonardo
(Theologian, Catholic priest)

Felice Leonardo
2
Birthdate: March 9, 1915
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Pietramelara
Died: April 15, 2015

Felice Leonardo was an Italian prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. Ordained a priest in July 1938, he was later appointed a bishop to the Telese o Cerreto Sannita Diocese. He retired from this position in 1991. He lived to be 100 years old and was one of the oldest Roman Catholic bishops. 

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Ambrose Traversari
0
Birthdate: September 19, 1386
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Portico, Italy
Died: October 20, 1439

Ambrose Traversari was an Italian theologian and monk. Revered as a saint by the Camaldolese Hermits of Mount Corona, Traversari was one of the most important and ardent supporters of the 15th century's papal cause. Ambrose Traversari was venerated in Roman Catholic Church and his feast day is observed on 20 November every year.

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Jacobus da Varagine
1
Birthdate: 1230 AD
Birthplace: Varazze, Italy
Died: 1298 AD

Jacobus de Varagine was an Italian chronicler and author who is credited with compiling a collection of the legendary tales of saints of the medieval church called the Golden Legend. His work became one of the most important and famous religious works of the medieval period. Jacobus de Varagine is also remembered for serving as the archbishop of Genoa.

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Jacopo Aconcio
0
Birthdate: 1520 AD
Birthplace: Trento, Italy
Died: 1566 AD

Jacopo Aconcio was an Italian jurist, philosopher, theologian, and engineer. He is best remembered for his immense contribution to the history of religious toleration. He is also remembered for publishing a secular work that emphasizes the importance of a scientific approach.