The re-awakening of Waldensianism at the time of the Risorgimento


  • Ottavio Palombaro


Catholicism, Italy, nationalism, Protestantism, réveil, Risorgimento, Waldensian


Far from being just a secular project, the Italian Risorgimento had deep spiritual foundations. The project of “resurrection” of freedom of religion in modern Italy became an anti-clerical project though not necessarily anti-Christian. Radical Free Church Protestants generally supported the Republican ideals of Mazzini and Garibaldi, while Waldensians sided with the liberal Cavour. A spiritual awakening preceded the political awakening that led to the emancipation of the Waldensians, an event embodying the ideals of the Risorgimento. Indeed, Waldensians played a major role in the Risorgimento, contributing soldiers, parliamentary representatives, educators, writers, entrepreneurs, missionaries, and most of all, individuals who fought for religious freedom.

Author Biography

Ottavio Palombaro

Dr Ottavio Palombaro is an Italian theologian, sociologist and cultural anthropologist. He studied at the University of Rome “La Sapienza” (B.A.), at the University of Turin (M.A.), at the University “Statale” of Milan (Ph.D.), at Tyndale Theological Seminary in Netherlands, at the Puritan Reformed Theo- logical Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan U.S.A. (M.Div.) and at the Free University of Amsterdam (Th.D.).



2022-03-03 — Updated on 2022-03-03