Beyond Memory

Italian Protestants in Italy and America

By Dennis Barone

Subjects: Italian American Studies, Religion, Christianity, American History, Ethnic History
Series: SUNY series in Italian/American Culture
Paperback : 9781438462165, 194 pages, July 2017
Hardcover : 9781438462158, 194 pages, September 2016

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Table of contents


1. The Soul of a Stranger

2. To Struggle for a Place at the Table

3. Does Christ Linger at Eboli?

4. Answers to the Roman Question
photo gallery follows page 84

5. By Twos and by Threes

6. Christ for Hartford

7. A Sermon for the Oppressed

Works Cited

Uncovers an overlooked aspect of the Italian American experience.


In Beyond Memory, Dennis Barone uncovers the richness and diversity of the Italian Protestant experience and places it in the context of migration and political and social life in both Italy and the United States. Italian Protestants have received scant attention in the fields of Italian American studies, religious studies, and immigration studies, and through literary sources, church records, manuscript sources, and secondary sources in various fields, Barone introduces such forgotten voices as the Baptist Antonio Mangano, the Methodist Antonio Arrighi, and his great-grandfather Alfredo Barone, a Baptist minister to congregations in Italy and Massachusetts. Examining the complex histories of these and other Italian Protestants, Barone argues that Protestantism ultimately served as a means to negotiate between Old World and New World ways, even as it resulted in the double alienation of rejection by Roman Catholic immigrants and condescension by Anglo-Protestants. Though the book focuses on the years of high immigration (1890–1920), it also looks at precursors to post-reunification Protestants as well as Protestants in Italy today, now that the nation has become a country of in-migration.

Dennis Barone is Professor of English and American Studies at the University of Saint Joseph. He is the author or editor of many books of poetry, prose, and criticism, including Sound/Hammer; On the Bus: Selected Stories; and Essays on Italian American Literature and Culture (with Peter Covino).


"…this book makes a solid contribution to an underexamined area of the Italian American experience. And in doing so it does indeed help recover the memory of something largely forgotten." — Italian American Review

"…[an] important work … Rich in both context and narrative detail, Beyond Memory not only preserves, but revitalizes and updates the culturally crucial history of Italian Protestants in Italy and America." — Voices in Italian Americana

"…elegantly written … an important story that contributes to the exiguous literature on Italian Protestantism in the United States and Italy. This is a book that should be on the shelves of all interested in the Italian and Italian-American experience, as well as those in religious and immigration studies. The author is to be congratulated for such a rich and compelling contribution to a field of study that ought to be better known by Italianists." — Centro Altreitalie