Arthur Lenti

Fr. Arthur Lenti
Address2301 Vine Street
Berkeley, CA 94708

Adjunct Professor of Theology, Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology

B.A., Don Bosco College,
S.T.L., Salesian Pontifical Atheneum Turin,
S.T.L., Pontifica Universita Salesiana, Rome,
S.S.L., Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome,

Fr. Arthur teaches on the life and work of the founder of the Salesians, John (Don) Bosco, in context. Don Bosco (1815-1888) lived during the period of the liberal revolutions that swept through Western Europe in the nineteenth century and that produced modern nation-states with new political and social orders. The liberal revolution removed the old “legitimate” rulers and greatly reduced the influence of the institutional Church. In particular, Italy was united as a nation, and its new liberal institutions did away with the Papacy’s temporal power. Don Bosco began and expanded his humanitarian and religious work in a progressively secularized society and growing anticlerical hostility, while the Catholic forces struggled to come to grips with the momentous changes. In this context, Fr. Arthur’s course aims at presenting a critical view of Don Bosco’s life and work. It is not just a matter of describing what Don Bosco did, but why and how he did it. His students are challenged to decide for themselves what their own particular cultural and religious situations may require, and what the appropriate Christian response in those situations might be.

Fr. Arthur Lenti teaches one course on Don Bosco’s life and work. However he is also interested in Old Testament study, with an emphasis on its historical background.

Fr. Arthur Lenti is currently working on an article for the Journal of Salesian Studies. He is researching nineteenth-century Catholic apologetics in Italy as it responded to the proselytizing activities of the Waldenses (“Protestants”) after non-Catholic religious groups had won freedom of worship and full civil rights under the constitution in the Kingdom of Sardinia (Piedmont). The purpose of his article is to highlight Don Bosco’s participation and commitment to the Catholic apologetic effort. Fr. Arthur looks to reveal something about Don Bosco’s character “as a Catholic” as well as his political beliefs as a partisan and defender of the institutional church and the papacy. In that particular historical context, one may understand that apologetic effort, and even admire its fervor, though perhaps not excuse it.

Areas of Interest

Old Testament; Historical background;

Logos Almanac of the Christian World

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