Kevin J. Madigan

Winn Professor of Ecclesiastical History
Faculty Dean, Eliot House, Harvard College


Kevin Madigan is a historian of medieval Christian religious practice and thought. He began teaching at HDS in 2000 and in October 2009 was named Winn Professor of Ecclesiastical History. He was associate dean for faculty and academic affairs from July 2012 to June 2014. He specializes in medieval Christianity. His book Olivi and the Interpretation of Matthew in the High Middle Ages (University of Notre Dame Press) was published in 2003, and his study The Passions of Christ in High-Medieval Thought: An Essay on Christological Development was brought out by Oxford University Press in 2007. With Carolyn Osiek, Madigan co-authored Ordained Women in the Early Church: A Documentary History (Johns Hopkins, 2005; translated into Spanish 2008). In 2008, Madigan and HDS professor Jon Levenson published Resurrection: The Power of God for Christians and Jews (Yale University Press), a project partly written during 2006–07 when Madigan was winner of a Luce Theological Fellowship; the book is now being translated into Chinese. Most recently, Madigan completed a new textbook on the medieval church, entitled Medieval Christianity: A New History (Yale University Press, 2015); it, too, is currently being translated into Chinese. He also regularly teaches courses on the Holocaust and has published several articles on the Roman Catholic Church during the Nazi period. He has a book forthcoming, based on research at the Vatican Archives, on evangelical Christianity and the Vatican in the fascist period.

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popes against the protestantsYale University Press (August 17, 2021)


An account of the alliance between the Catholic Church and the Italian Fascist regime in their campaign against Protestants

Based on previously undisclosed archival materials, this book tells the fascinating, untold, and troubling story of an anti-Protestant campaign in Italy that lasted longer, consumed more clerical energy and cultural space, and generated far more literature than the war against Italy’s Jewish population.

Because clerical leaders in Rome were seeking to build a new Catholic world in the aftermath of the Great War, Protestants embodied a special menace, and were seen as carriers of dangers like heresy, secularism, modernity, and Americanism—as potent threats to the Catholic precepts that were the true foundations of Italian civilization, values, and culture. The pope and cardinals framed the threat of evangelical Christianity as a peril not only to the Catholic Church but to the fascist government as well, recruiting some very powerful fascist officials to their cause. This important book is the first full account of this dangerous alliance.   



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