Short Biography

G. Tanzella-Nitti (born 1955) took his university degree in Astronomy at the University of Bologna (1977), discussing a thesis on Optical Variability of Active Galactic Nuclei  (moderator prof. G. Setti); he took his doctorate in Dogmatic Theology, at the Atheneum of the Holy Cross, Rome, (1991) with a published dissertation titled La S.S. Trinità e l'economia della nostra santificazione ne "I Misteri del Cristianesimo" di M.J. Scheeben  (moderator prof. F. Ocáriz). Catholic priest (1987), Prelature of Opus Dei.

Formerly : Italian C.N.R. fellowship (1978-1981). Astronomer at the Astronomical Observatory of Turin (1981-1985).

Presently: Full Professor of Fundamental Theology at the School of Theology, Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome.  Director of the Scuola Internazionale Superiore per la Ricerca Interdisciplinare (SISRI). Adjunct Scholar of the Vatican Observatory. He has been visiting professor at the School of Philosophy of the Pontifical Gregorian University from 2007 to 2011.

Membership : From 1984, Member of International Astronomical Union (I.A.U.) and of Società Italiana di Astronomia. From 2015 Adjunct Scholar of the Vatican Observatory. From 2017, Fellow of the International Society for Science and Religion, Cambridge.

Dictionary - John Paul IIDirector and Founder of the Research Center for Interdisciplinary Documentation (DISF - Centro di Documentazione Interdisciplinare di Scienza e Fede), Director of the Scuola Internazionale Superiore per la Ricerca Interdisciplinare (SISRI, Advanced School for Interdisciplinary Research), and Editor in Chief of the Interdisciplinary Encyclopedia of Religion and Science   (ISSN 2037-2329). The DISF Research Center is editing the first web site on Religion and Science for the Italian public,, and the English web site On April 2002 the web site received from the European Society for the Study of Science and Theology the award ESSSAT Communication Prize. Among the activities of the Center, SISRI-ADSIR is a Continual Education Program addressed to young people involved in scientific research, aimed at framing their activity within a philosophical context which highlights the philosophical foundations of science and the humanistic dimensions of scientific research. In October 2015 he was the recipient of the III° Mariano Artigas Memorial Lecture Award. The Project DISF Educational, a web platform for High School teachers and students, received in 2023 the "Expanded Reason Award" sponsored by the Joseph Ratzinger Foundation and the Universidad Francisco de Vitoria, Madrid.

Past and Present Activity: During his years devoted to scientific research in the field of radio astronomy and cosmology, as a CNR researcher at the Institute of Radio Astronomy in Bologna and then as an astronomer at the Osservatorio Astronomico di Torino, G. Tanzella-Nitti worked on active galactic nuclei and the dynamics of galaxies. He co-authored with G. Palumbo and G. Vettolani the first General Catalogue of Radial Velocities of Galaxies (A Catalogue of Radial Velocities of Galaxies, Gordon and Breach, New York 1983). As a theologian he turns now his interest to the Theology of Revelation and the relationship between Christian Revelation and contemporary culture. He has published essays on the relationship between philosophy and theology, natural knowledge of God, the unity of knowledge and the humanistic dimensions of scientific research. He is also the author of articles in the fields of theological epistemology and the relations between theology and science. He has developed a "Fundamental Theology in scientific context" and directs at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross a Project for the elaboration of a Theology of Evangelization according to the spirit of Veritatis gaudium (2018), in collaboration with the Department of Theology of Evangelization of the Theological Faculty of Emilia Romagna, Bologna.

He went through the thought and work of Augustine of Hippo, Thomas Aquinas, Blaise Pascal, Maurice Blondel, Antonio Stoppani, Angelo Secchi, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, and Enrico Cantore. He is concerned with the theological dimensions of the spiritual message of St. Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer, especially with regard to the sanctification of work and of earthly realities.

Among his published books: General Catalogue of Radial Velocity of Galaxies (New York: Gordon and Breach, 1983); Questions in Science and Religious Belief (Tucson: Pachart, 1992); La teologia, annuncio e dialogo (Roma: Armando, 1996); Mistero trinitario ed economia della grazia (Roma: Armando, 1997); Passione per la verità e responsabilità del sapere. Un'idea di università nel magistero di Giovanni Paolo II (Casale Monferrato: Piemme 1998); Dizionario Interdisciplinare di Scienza e Fede (co-editor in chief with A. Strumia, Rome: Città Nuova - UUP, 2002); Teologia e scienza. Le ragioni di un dialogo (Milano: Paoline, 2003); La verità della religione (ed. with G. Maspero, Siena: Cantagalli, 2007), Filosofia e Rivelazione (Cinisello Balsamo: San Paolo, 2008), Faith, Reason and the Natural Sciences (Aurora (CO): Davies, 2009), La Rivelazione e la sua credibilità (Roma: Edusc, 2016), Teologia Fondamentale in contesto scientifico, 4 vols. (Roma: Città Nuova, 2015-2022), Scientific Perspectives in Fundamental Theology. Understanding Christian Faith in the Age of Scientific Reason (Claremont-CA: Claremont Press, 2022). The volume God's Two Books. Historical and Theological Heritage of a Metaphorin in now in preparation, coauthored with Oskari Juurikkala.


He has given Lectures and Seminars at: University of Navarre, Pamplona (Spain); Jacques Maritain Center, University of Notre Dame (Indiana); University of Piura (Perù), Piura and Lima campuses; Center for Logic, Epistemology and History of Science, University Unicamp, Campinas (Brazil); Universidad de Los Andes (Santiago de Chile); Franciscan School of Theology "Sapientia", Budapest (Hungary); Universidad Francisco de Vitoria, Madrid; School of History of Physics, Ettore Majorana Center (Erice, Sicily); Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Brescia and Piacenza campuses; School of Law, University of Bari; School of Philosophy and Human Sciences, University of Perugia; Theological School of Emilia Romagna (Italy); Theological School of Southern Italy (campus of Bari); School of Philosophy, University of Urbino (Italy); Theological School of Northern Italy (campuses of Turin and Genoa); San Paolo Theological Institute of Catania; Department of Philosophy, University of Rome Tor Vergata; Universidad de Salta, Argentina.