The Catholic, Italian, and Tuscan Ecclesiastical Contexts of Don Milani’s “Letter to the Military Chaplains”

  • Carmel Borg
  • Michael Grech
Part of the Palgrave Macmillan’s Postcolonial Studies in Education book series (PCSE)


This writing will suffer from an obvious defect. It will attempt to sketch one single and concise picture out of the different approaches to peace and war among the varied, heterogeneous, contradictory, and multifarious phenomena that were to be found among the Catholic clergy and laity in Italy and Europe in the late nineteenth and early and mid-twentieth centuries. Hence, it will inevitably be characterized by oversimplification and over-generalization. In addition, in certain parts, it might appear to suffer from another defect; a voluntaristic and idealistic emphasis on the thoughts of eminent thinkers and figures, as though the history of the thoughts, sentiments and ideas of millions of Catholics could be synthesized in the beliefs and notions of a few individuals. Moreover, it might appear to detach these from the variegated social, economic, and political formations from which they stem or, at least, not to give sufficient importance to these. We wish to do none of this, though given the lack of space and the vastness of the subject, this might be inevitable.


Italian State Conscientious Objection Catholic Clergy Catholic Doctrine Patriotic Rhetoric 
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© Carmel Borg and Michael Grech 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carmel Borg
  • Michael Grech

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