G. Tanzella-Nitti obtained his university degree in Astronomy at the University of Bologna in 1977, where he presented his thesis on the Optical Variability of Active Galactic Nuclei (moderator prof. G. Setti). He obtained his doctorate in Dogmatic Theology at the Atheneum of the Holy Cross in Rome in 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). He was ordained a Catholic priest of the Prelature of Opus Dei in 1987.
He was formerly a researcher with the Italian C.N.R. fellowship (1978-1981), and an astronomer at the Astronomical Observatory of Turin (1981-1985), and a visiting professor at the School of Philosophy of the Pontifical Gregorian University from 2007 to 2011.
He is 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); and Adjunct Scholar at the Vatican Observatory.
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 now turns 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 has studied extensively 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.