Cornelio Fabro: Apostle and Missionary of Culture

Had he lived, Italian philosopher and Thomistic theologian Father Cornelio Fabro (1911 – 1995) would have been 100 years old on August 24.

The founder of the Institute for Higher Studies on Unbelief, Religion and Cultures, Father Fabro was a prolific writer, a follower of St. Thomas Aquinas whose works explored the worldview of Danish Christian philosopher Søren Kierkegaard. 

In his Participation and Causality, an analysis of the work of Aquinas, Fabro identified the notion of participation as the hermeneutical key to Thomism. 

Fabro’s work is being organized, translated and published through the efforts of Fr. Elvio Celestino Fontana, head of the Cornelio Fabro Cultural Project.  To date, 25 volumes of Fabro’s writings have been published; but Fr. Fontana expects that Fabro’s writings—books, university lecturs, notes, complete records of courses or cycles—will fill hundreds of volumes. 

L’Osservatore Romano, in recognition of Fabro’s substantial body of work in Thomistic theology and philosophy, published an interview with Fr. Fontana.  Their full interview is available here.

Wikipedia lists a few of his works which were originally published in Italian, but which are being translated into English:

  • The metaphysical notion of participation according to St. Thomas Aquinas, Edizioni Scientifiche Italiane,Turin, 1939;
  • Perception and thought, Vita e Pensiero,Milan, 1941;
  • The Phenomenology of perception, Vita e Pensiero,Milan, 1941;
  • Introduction to Existentialism, Vita e Pensiero,Milan, 1943;
  • Problems of Existentialism, A.V.E.,Rome, 1945;
  • Between Kierkegaard and Marx: for a definition of existence, Vallecchi,Florence, 1952;
  • The absolute in Existentialism, Miano,Catania, 1953;
  • God: Introduction to the theological problem, Studium,Rome, 1953;
  • The spirit, Studium,Rome, 1955;
  • From being to existing, Morcelliana,Brescia, 1957;
  • Short introduction to Thomism, Desclée,Rome, 1960;
  • Participation and causality according to St. Thomas Aquinas, Edizioni Scientifiche Italiane,Turin, 1960;
  • Introduction to modern atheism, Studium,Rome, 1964;
  • Man and the risk of God, Studium,Rome, 1967;
  • Thomistic Exegeses, PapalLateranUniversity,Rome, 1969;
  • Thomism and modern thought,PapalLateranUniversity,Rome, 1969;
  • Karl Rahner and the thomistic hermeneutic, Divus Thomas,Piacenza, 1972;
  • The adventure of progressive theology, Rusconi,Milan, 1974;
  • The anthropological turn of Karl Rahner, Rusconi,Milan, 1974;
  • Ludwig Feuerbach: the essence of Christianity, Japadre,L’Aquila, 1977;
  • Prayer in modern thought, Editioni di Storia e Letteratura,Rome, 1979;
  • The trap of historical compromise: fromTogliattito Berlinguer, Logos,Rome, 1979;
  • The unacceptability of historical compromise, Quadrivium,Genoa, 1980;
  • The alienation of the West: observations on the thought of And Severino, Quadrivium,Genoa, 1981;
  • Introduction toSaint Thomas, Ares,Milan, 1983;
  • Reflections on freedom, Maggioli,Rimini, 1983;
  • The Rosmini enigma, Edizioni Scientifiche Italiane,Naples, 1988;
  • Tests of the existence of God, La Scuola,Brescia, 1989;
  • The odyssey of nihilism, Guida,Naples, 1990;
  • For a plan of Christian philosophy, D’Auria,Naples, 1990.

  • http://www.danielpatto.com Dan Patterson

    Hi Kathy,
    I’m just starting to do a paper on Aquinas’ participation and I am trying locate some of Fabro’s works online. Do you know if any have been translated and are available online?

    Any direction would be greatly appreciated.
    Regards,
    Dan

    • Kathy Schiffer

      Gosh, Dan, that’s a great question– and one which I can’t answer. I wrote this piece last summer, and at that time there was an effort to translate some of Fabro’s works into English. I can’t say, though, whether that’s been accomplished.
      I hope at least that my list of titles points you toward further successful research!


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