Brixen – Theology at the Meeting point of Italian and German-speaking cultures

he charming medieval town of Brixen, in South Tyrol (the German-speaking part of Italy near the Austrian border), plays a significant role in the history of the Church and the history of theology. The German theologian Nicolaus Cusanus was named its bishop in 1450, at the height of the conciliarist controversy, a defining moment in shaping the Catholic doctrine on the papacy. In 1967, theologian and future pope Joseph Ratzinger started to spend vacations there. In 1984, Ratzinger (by now a Cardinal) conducted his first, provocative, interview with Italian journalist Vittorio Messori—which later came to be known as his manifesto and was the basis for the best-selling book The Ratzinger Report. (I was teaching at the Brixen campus of the Free University of Bozen when Ratzinger was elected pope on April 19, 2005, where celebrations broke out upon the announcement.) Brixen is also home to the Philosophical-Theological College of Brixen/Bressanone. Run by the Diocese of Bozen-Brixen/Bolzano-Bressanone, the college has a long history (and a wonderful library) dating to the era of Cusanus. Since 1991, it has been an academic center of pontifical right, enabling it to issue the academic degree of Baccalaureate in Theology. It’s a big part of the European university landscape and helps make South Tyrol a meeting point of Italian- and German-speaking cultures

Source: Commonweal

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