Dibattito sul “miafisismo”, a cura di Philippe Luisier
A mo’ d’introduzione
Faut-il s’interdire de parler de miaphysisme? Quelques suggestions d’un historien intéressé à la géo-ecclésiologie de la période tardoantique
Nicely written, vigorous and well informed, Philippe Luisier’s article argues for rejecting the use of the miaphysitism term. It invites us therefore to clarify our vocabulary when it comes to consider the parties and forces in the post-Chalcedonian controversy. It also invites to develop a epistemological reflection; here are proposed some considerations on the field of history, particularly that of the Roman Empire in the fifth and sixth century. In the end, it leads us not to share the suggested proscription.
Dietmar W. Winkler,
„Miaphysitismus“. Anmerkungen zur ökumenischen Sinnhaftigkeit eines Neologismus
The Christological dispute arose with the attempt to express the unity of the divinity and humanity in Christ in linguistic terms. As a result, those who opposed the dogmatic formulation of Chalcedon have been called Monophysites. The term is incorrect and misleading in this context. Since G. S. Assemani, scholars have tried to distinguish between real Monophysites, i.e. Eutychians, from those who held to the mia physis formula of Cyril of Alexandria. They are also called verbal Monophysites (A. Grillmeier), Diplophysites (C.D.G. Müller), or Henophysites (S.P. Brock). From the perspective of ecumenical dialogue the most acceptable term has proved to be Miaphysitism.
Mia Physite Christology and the Oriental Orthodox Churches
The opponents of the Council of Chalcedon (451) were nicknamed as ‘monophysites’ or ‘eutychians’, implying that they follow the heresy of Eutyches. In fact they condemn the person and teaching of Eutyches. For them, the Christological expression of Cyril of Alexandria, «one incarnate nature of God the Word Incarnate», is the most suitable linguistic tool to refer to the perfect union of the divine and human natures in Christ, and to exclude any division, and to maintain single subjectivity in Christ. For them, Christ is perfectly man and God; but after the union the Incarnate Word is the subject of all actions in Christ. They never spoke of monophysis, but miaphysis in the Cyrillian sense. The dialogues between the Chalcedonians and non-Chalcedonians since 1960s have brought this fact into light.
Sebastian P. Brock
Miaphysite, not monophysite!
This is a brief response to Ph. Luisier’s article Il miafisismo, un termine discutabile della storiografia recente, in «Cristianesimo nella Storia», 34 (2013), 299-310. Although Luisier’s arguments against the use of the term ‘miafisismo’ may be formally correct, it is argued here that, from a practical and ecumenical point of view, the terms ‘miaphysite’, ‘miaphysism’ have an important function in helping to distinguish between two very different christological positions and thus to avoid serious misunderstandings about the christological teaching of the Oriental Orthodox Churches
Via concilii. Il decreto Haec sancta e il conciliarismo del concilio di Costanza
The aim of the article is not to give a new definition of conciliarism – which is usually considered as the ‘product’ of the council of Constance – with the intention of legitimizing or not its declarations. The purpose is instead to better understand the most famous Council’s decree, Haec sancta (1415, April 05th), by telling the dramatic development of the negotiations during the council’s first months of activity. Starting with a short recapitulation of the historical background (i.e. the medieval idea of the council as a representation of all the faithful members of the church and of the steps that the councils during the history of the church made, therefore becoming a constitutive part of the church) the article gives a comprehensive oversight of the single steps of confrontation between the pope and the attendants in Constance. The flight of John XXII and the reactions of the Council explain both the plausibility of the measures taken and the late consensus of the overwhelming majority in the Council’s debates.
Alessandro Di Marco
Miracoli, propaganda e devozione popolare: nostra Signora di Lourdes in Italia (1872-1900)
How a new Marian devotion could be implanted with great success and in few years in a country already spiritually ‘saturated’? This is the main question addressed by the article, by showing how the devotion arose in an area which was far away and different from its source. The first part of the article will analyse the causes and means throughout the ‘foreign Madonna’ became popular in the newly created Kingdom of Italy. The second part explores the ‘response’ in terms of devotion, which led to increasing numbers of pilgrimages to Lourdes and to newly build sanctuaries ad instar throughout the Italian peninsula.
‘Nel campo della lotta’. Organizzazioni femminili evangeliche e movimento delle donne in Italia tra Ottocento e Novecento
This essay traces the partecipation of first Protestant organisations in feminist movement in Italy between XIXth and XXth century. After the birth of «Regno d’Italia», through wich the religious minorities gained rights’ equality, some representatives of evangelical churches shared the campaigns for the kindergarten and the abolition of legal prostitution. In 1908 the valdesian Lidia Poet, first italian woman graduated in law, Amilda Pons and the associations «Unione cristiana delle giovani» and «Amiche della giovane» took part in first national convention of italian women, in wich the Protestant representatives voted – with radicals and socialists – a document for abolition of religious confessional teaching.
Marco La Loggia
Théologiser selon l’induction: Chenu et la réforme du langage de la foi (1909-1937) ou analyses des textes au sujet de l’histoire d’un renversement méthodo-logique
This essay studies the methodological turn undergone by christian theology in France, at Le Saulchoir (from 1930 onwards): from deduction to induction. Starting from the teachings of Chenu’s teacher, Gardeil, and the relationships between their ideas, the essay then studies the development of Chenu’s own ideas despite the difficulties and adversities. The last part formulates concluding considerations about the consequences of Chenu’s methodological turn on theology and on the theologian: his method was later used during the Vatican II council, and after a long absence, has been resumed by Pope Francis through the synodal methodology.
Giuseppe Ruggieri, Desiderium unitatis. Editoriale
Gli spunti ecumenici del polemista Giovanni di Patmos
The author of John’s Apocalypse does not recommend himself as a model for dialogue, in fact no contribution on his book from the ecumenical perspective has appeared. It is a fact that he is incessantly quarrelling in battles both intramural and extramural and his language would be best portrayed by ancient rhetoricians as inspired by vilification, since he is systematically discrediting his own adversaries. Although his praxis is not conciliatory at all, some of his theological schemes deserve to be taken into account: the centrality and equidistance of Christ in relation to the Churches, the Spirit which is interiorizing Christ’s message to the same Churches, the Pantokrator’s guide of every human being and nation through the agency of his Envoy and his paschal redemption and the uniqueness and indivisibility of the people of God, consisting of his pre-messianic and post-messianic components.
Cyprien et l’unité de l’Église
Through his attitude towards the lapsi, Cyprian showed a deep sense of ecclesial reconciliation. He emphasized the significant role of the bishop go-verning the local Church and deeply contributing to its unity. He also had a high ideal of the unity between the various Churches. But he faced some difficulties, too. How was it possible to conciliate the idea of a local autonomy with the aim of a communion between the Churches? What could be done in the case of an ecclesial crisis? Cyprian did not attribute to the bishop of Rome a primacy in the full sense of the term, but his concrete attitude shows that he wished to refer to him in some specific situations.
Historia salutis, desiderium unitatis e chiesa in Isacco di Ninive
Recent studies ascribe the proposal of a Christian presence which was alternative to the intransigent and ‘sectarian’ one – supported by the coeval ecclesiastical hierarchies – to the major monastic authors of the syro-oriental Church, between the VII and VIII century. The essay verifies this thesis through the study of the life and work of Isaac of Niniveh, who is considered the most representative figure of that supposed movement. After a fine reconstruction of his biographical context and a brief overview of the different positions that characterized the attitude of his Church towards heresy, the essay examines some of his most quoted and most debated texts.
De pace fidei. Per una rilettura del testo di Cusano
The article aims at offering a reading of the pamphlet written by Cusano, De pace fidei, in light of the correct understanding of the term ‘religio’ as it is included in the well-known formula una religio in rituum varietate. ‘Religio’ does not indicate here the objective content of religion, but the cult, the worship of the only one true God through the different expressions of the people’s religious traditions.
Karl Barth on the Quest for the Church’s Unity
Historians and theologians have long acknowledged Karl Barth’s impact on the ecumenical movement. Despite (or rather: because of) all his criticisms of that movement and of all irenic tendencies, Barth unmistakingly fostered it in various ways, notably by seeking to develop a Christian systematic theology in dialogue with the Christian theological tradition broadly conceived. Did Barth hold a specific view of Christian unity as telos of the ecumenical movement? Which insights did he offer on how to progress toward such unity? This article presents the rudiments of an answer to these two questions.
Christoph Theobald sj
Unification des Églises, une possibilité réelle. Les huit thèses d’Heinrich Fries et de Karl Rahner, relues trente-deux ans après
The article addresses the eight theses of Heinrich Fries and Karl Rahner, published in 1983 to demonstrate that the unification of Churches was henceforth a real possibility. Their brief presentation and analysis (1) is followed by a re-examination situating them in the context of the 1980s and measuring the cultural distance that separates us from them (2). Within the framework of this historical background, the article highlights and discusses the ‘model of unity’ proposed by these theses (3) and, in conclusion, pursues a ‘kairological’ reading of history, questioning the ‘heuristic virtue’ of this model in the ecumenical circumstances of today.
Unità nella dottrina sacramentale. Note sulla storia della genesi del Bem
Theological dialogue about the sacraments has accompanied the ecumenical movement ever since it took its first steps, and the convergence text on Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry (BEM), approved by the Faith and Order Department in January 1982, may therefore be considered the theological precipitate of more than fifty years of attempts to reach an agreement in the ecumenical sphere. Working to reconstruct the drafting process of this document, I have collected together some reflections here which cast light on: a) the context in which a comprehension of the sacraments as signs of unity may be said to have begun; b) the chronological point of maturity of this dialogue, coinciding with the birth of BEM.
Nunzio Galantino, Presentazione dell’Atlante storico del Concilio Vaticano II
Cristopher M. Bellitto
The Early Church in the Late Middle Ages. Nicolas de Clamanges and the ecclesia primitiva
High medieval Church reformers turned to the early church for exempla to counter-act what they saw in their contemporary context as a devolved institution. This effort culminated with early modern Protestant voices who frequently saw the church’s present and future in terms of a recovery of its past. Sometimes lost between the high Middle Ages and the Sixteenth Century are late medieval voices calling for reform in a similar fashion. This article attends to one of those late medieval voices, the Parisian humanist and reformer Nicolas de Clamanges (c. 1363-1437), and explores the early models for reform he drew from the fathers and classical antiquity.
Chi deve confutare Sarpi? Scrivere storia nella Roma del Seicento
One of the main pillars of the more or less confessionalized res publica literaria was the refutation. That’s why it may astonish at first glance that especially a work like Sarpi’s Historia del Concilio Tridentino remained for nearly half a century without a proper response from curial circles. This circumstance is, on the one hand, owed to the jealous wrangling between Roman scholars who all wanted to be the one who refuted Sarpi and who tried to thwart each other’s efforts to see the archive documents. On the other hand, there was the pope’s nephew, Francesco Barberini, who directed the refutation project, being very careful to mask the curia’s involvement. In this struggle there was certain risk of career failure, as in the case of the Blackfriar Abraham Bzowski.
Fulvio De Giorgi
Il travagliato percorso di un cattolico di sinistra. Ettore Passerin d’Entrèves nell’immediato secondo dopoguerra
The article is focused on Ettore Passerin d’Entrèves: one of the most important Italian historians in the second half of XX Century. During the last part of WWII, he emigrated to Switzerland. The aim of this essay is to reconstruct his cultural and political action when he returned in Italy at the end of the war. He participated – as pro-Italian – to the autonomist struggles in Valle d’Aosta, his land. At the same time, he joined the Catholic Communist Party and, after the death of this party, he wandered among small intellectual groups of Left-Wing Italian Catholicism. Because of his strong intellectual freedom, such a path appears historically significant.
Ökumene von unten. Augustin Bea di fronte alle attività del movimento tedesco Una Sancta
This study provides a reconstruction of the influence of Augustin Bea SJ, future President of the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity, upon the activities of the German ecumenical movement Una Sancta, which was lead from 1945 to 1951 by the theologian Matthias Laros and from 1953 to 1963 by the benedictine monk Thomas Sartory. Urged by the archbishop Lorenz Jaeger, referent for the ecumenical questions at the Bishops’ Conference of Fulda, Bea, at that time consultor of the Holy Office and private confessor of Pius XII, during Pacelli’s pontificate acted as a link between Rome and the circles of Catholic ecumenism, above all the German ones. In particular, the activities of the Una-Sancta-Bewegung were cause of concern for the Romans authorities, especially after the Holy Office’s Monitum of 1948 and the following Instructio Ecclesia Catholica of 1950.
Il caso e la cosa. Lutero nella storiografia italiana del Novecento
The essay explores the trends of historiography on Luther. It highlights how ancient prejudices on Luther have influenced historiography, both depicting him as a confessional hero or despising him, as Grisar does. It’s not a coincidence that Ernesto Buonaiuti, leading figure of italian modernism, writes a Luther’s biography which could have been a token of his missed appeasement with Roman-Catholic Church. Postwar historiography will seek a different path which will lead to the 1983 centenary: when the students of Bainton’s translator Delio Cantimori will demand what Giuseppe Alberigo would later have been called Luther’s ‘confessional ransom’.
Maria Teresa Ruggiero
Studi filosofici e filologici di Fulgenzio
The studies on Fulgentius and the literary works attributed to him, and the analysis of codexes including both texts written by the bishop of Ruspe and the writings of Fulgentius Planciade suggest that the latter was the author of the fragments here translated and commented. The brief texts refer to Petronio Arbitro (who is actually a pseudo-Petronio): they were written in Vandal Africa and refer to verses of Planciade of the 1st century A.D. The demonstration of the differences (style, structure, contents) between the works written by the Father of the Church and those written by Planciade is based on codexes Casinenses 107 and 384.
Teologia e storia in Bernard Lonergan. A proposito di un libro recente
This brief note analizes the role of history in the theological thought of Bernard Lonergan, developing a few hints taken from Giuseppe Guglielmi’s monography. It highlights some issues caused by Lonergan’s method which holds historical knowledge within the trascendental schemas of human rationality; but also motives exceding them.
Vatican II: Bibliographical Survey 2013-2016
This essay reviews the recent literature on Vatican II published during the period between 2013 and 2016. The first part of the review focuses on the ‘Francis effect’ on the theological and historical debate on the council, while the second part analyzes the impact of the fiftieth anniversary of the council (2012-2015) on the studies and reception of Vatican II. The third and most substantial part of the essay reviews the latest contribution to the research in terms of archival research, studies on key figures on Vatican II, and on theological themes and final documents approved by Vatican II. The conclusion of the essay advances some hypotheses for the future path of the research on Vatican II.
Prinzivalli, M. Benedetti, S. Acerbi, M. Marcos, J. Torres, N. Terpstra, F. De Giorgi, G. Buffon, O. Landron