Institute at Brown for Environment and Society

Daniel Rietze

Italian Studies and Religious Studies


Daniel Rietze studies the environmental thought of twentieth-century Italian Catholic intellectuals in the hope of demonstrating the historical precedent of ecology within a Catholic cultural framework. His dissertation argues that the decades between the First World War and the 1960s, a period recognized as one in which the Church set aside its former insularity to actively participate in Italy’s sociopolitical life, was also a time of reinhabiting material landscapes—in which Italian Catholics increasingly thought of themselves not only as citizens of heaven, but as dwellers of local earthly terrains, too. The theological and literary texts that populate his work deal with such themes as the environmental destruction caused by war and fascism, the ecology of liturgy, and the parish as the ecclesiological unit in which church takes root in a particular place.