In American Protestant Theology, Luigi Giussani traces the history of the most meaningful theological expressions and the cultural significance of American Protestantism, from its origins in seventeenth-century Puritanism to the 1950s. Giussani clarifies and assesses elements of Protestantism such as the democratic approach to Church-State relations, "The Great Awakening," Calvinism and Trinitarianism, and liberalism. His rich references and analytical descriptions reconstruct an overview of the development of a religion that has great importance in the context of spiritual life and American culture. He also displays full respect for the religious depth from which Protestantism was born and where it can reach, and expresses great admiration for its most prominent thinkers and spiritual leaders, including Jonathan Edwards, Horace Bushnell, Walter Rauschenbusch, Reinhold Niebuhr, and Paul Tillich. Further testament to Giussani's clear-minded and comprehensive knowledge of Christianity, American Protestant Theology makes the work of a master theologian available in English for the first time.
Monsignor Luigi Giussani (1922-2005) was the founder of the Catholic lay movement Communion and Liberation in Italy. His works are available in over twenty languages and include the trilogy The Religious Sense, At the Origin of the Christian Claim, and Why the Church?, as well as the three volumes of Is It Possible to Live This Way?
American Protestant Theology serves at least two important purposes for present-day readers: first, it capably pares down over three hundred years of theological development into a single, slim tome; and second, it accomplishes this task from the perspective of an outsider who nevertheless found a great deal to like about his chosen subject. Giussani jumps from movement to movement and from theologian to theologian with great ease, displaying an impressive familiarity with his source material. Spencer’s excellent introduction provides readers a useful primer on Giussani, and with any luck, this English-language translation will lead to greater academic and popular interest in his life and work. – H-AmRel, H-Net Reviews