Ernesto Buonaiuti, Italian Historian of Christianity; critic of modernism.
Buonaiuti, Ernesto was born on June 24, 1881 in Rome.
(1908) Let tere di un prete modernista (reprint). Rome: Universitá di Roma, 1948.
(1922) L'essenza del cristianesimo.
(1928) Misticismo medioveale.
(1942) Storia del cristianesimo.
(1954) Spirit and Nature, New York: Pantheon.
Anon. (1978) Ernesto Buonaiuti: storico di cristianesimo, Rome: Istituto Storico per il Medievo.
Buonaiuti’s first period, evidencing some leaning to modernism, affirms a pragmatic conception of religion. Religiosity involves hope for a better collective future which, rising in the soul of the masses, overturns the existing order to create a new society. When this movement succeeds, it, in turn, assumes forms against which a reaction will occur, and a religion can become a superstitious fear that atrophies hope and individual initiative. In his second phase, after the papal condemnation of modernism, the First World War and the influence of di Loisy, he claims that at the centre of religion we find humans devoted to sociality. The human is a function of the collective, but humans feel the social as a limitation and there is an imbalance between the social and the sinfully individualistic. To restore equilibrium we resort.
for external things, to politics and, for our internal Jives, to religion. In his third period, under the influence of Otto, he develops these ideas stressing the place of original sin. His History of Christianity (1942) urges a return to original Christianity and traces the historical disappearance of the Christian message into a monistic idealism which undermines the Kingdom of God. The final Period comes to a more moderate notion of °nginal sin and reaffirms the value of Thomism.