We’ve long been admirers of the late Italian philosopher, Augusto del Noce (1910-1989), who until recently was virtually unknown in the English-speaking world. However, thanks to the painstaking work of Italian mathematician Carlo Lancellotti, a professor at the City University of New York at Staten Island, Del Noce has been discovered by scholars, both young and old.

Del Noce — a philosopher and political thinker, who taught for many years at La Sapienza University in Rome — formed generations of students. Two of his most prominent proteges are the traditionalist Catholic historian Roberto de Mattei and the Catholic philosopher and politician, Rocco Buttiglione. (The latter even wrote his own tribute to his teacher in 1991.)

To date, thanks to Lancellotti, two books of Del Noce’s writings have appeared in English: The Crisis of Modernity (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2015) and The Age of Secularization (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2017). These are excellent translations, although Del Noce himself is demanding and, at times, complex. But as so many writers have pronounced in recent years, he is well worth the effort to better understand the crisis in which we live.

The latest article to appear about Del Noce is “The Most Important Philosopher of Whom You Have (Probably) Never Heard” by Carl Trueman. It appears in the Fall 2020 edition of Eikon, but was re-published November 19, 2020, on the website of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, available here. Admittedly, this is a very short piece; but it has the following key paragraph:

Del Noce’s basic thesis is that in the twentieth century the political left came to see the dismantling of traditional sexual codes as the means by which Christianity could be destroyed. Of course, sexual morality and religion were not novel targets of social radicals. The demolition of the normative status of lifelong, monogamous marriage was something that William Godwin, among others, had attacked in the early nineteenth century. Human freedom consisted, in large part, of sexual freedom. Marx assumed the validity of Feuerbach’s materialist critique of religion as alienation and drew the political conclusion that demolition of the illusions of religion was thus a vital part of preparing the proletariat for revolution. What Del Noce saw was that the left had brought these two ideas together in a potent way that meant the sexual revolution of the sixties and beyond was both deeply political and deeply anti-Christian not only in its effects, but also in its intentions.

It’s well worth reading — and will whet your appetite for more about Del Noce and his views.

Below is a brief list of things that have been previously published — excerpts from Del Noce’s works, reviews of Lancellotti’s translations, other essays which we hope you find useful (even a video of a recent presentation by Lancellotti himself). Bottom line: More of us should be reading more of Del Noce, and more of Del Noce should be made available in other languages.

Excerpts

“Marxism Died in the East Because It Realized Itself in the West
Augusto Del Noce
Church Life Journal, January 16, 2020

“Why the Sexual Revolution is the Greatest Revolution”
Augusto Del Noce
Humanum, 2018

Book Reviews: The Age of Secularization

“Everything You Think You Know About Fascism Is Wrong”
Scott Beauchamp
The University Bookman / Kirk Center, March 11, 2018

“The Most Important Thinker We Don’t Know”
Francis X. Maier
First Things, January 4, 2018

Book Reviews: The Crisis of Modernity

“Servant Reading: The Crisis of Modernity by Augusto Del Noce”
Carl Trueman
Ordained Servant (pp. 31-33), November 2017

“What Del Noce Saw”
Michael Hanby
First Things, June 2017

“Italy’s Philosopher Against Modernity”
Alvino-Mario Fantini
The American Conservative, September/October 2015

“Augusto Del Noce on the Societa Opulenta”
Bjorn Thomassen and Rosario Forlenza
Voegelin View, July 2, 2015

Essays

“Conservatism in Translation: Discovering the Work of Augusto Del Noce”
Scott Beauchamp
Public Discourse, April 28, 2017

“The Dead End of the Left? Augusto Del Noce’s Critique of Modern Politics”
Carlo Lancellotti
Commonweal Magazine, March 21, 2019

“Augusto Del Noce on the ‘New Totalitarianism’”
Carlo Lancellotti
Communio 44, Summer 2017

“Voegelin’s Impact on the Italian Response to Modernity: The Parallel Lives and Works of Augusto del Noce and Eric Voegelin”
Bjorn Thomassen and Rosario Forlenza
Voegelin View, November 26, 2014

Videos

“The Crisis of Modernity: An Introduction to the Thought of Augusto Del Noce” [1:14:40]
Carlo Lancellotti (introduced by Patrick Deneen)
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Constitutional Studies and Tocqueville Programs, University of Notre Dame