crst 2017

CrSt 3/2017

crst 3:2017

I sinodi siro-orientali. Sinodalità siriaca in terra di Persia (IV-VII secolo), a cura di Vittorio Berti

Vittorio Berti
Sinodalità e chiesa siro-orientale: un inquadramento

Nunzia Di Rienzo
Risemantizzare la memoria. Il conflitto tra Papa bar Aggai e Miles di Susa nell’ottica del catholicos di Seleucia

Diverse sources speak of a synod that was held in the 4th century to challenge the authority and attitude of Papa, bishop of Seleucia-Ctesiphon, with the bishop of Susa, Miles, playing the role of Papa’s adversary. While the various sources share the same narrative nucleus, even a superficial reading reveals profound divergences concerning their favourable or unfavourable stance towards the catholicos. It is precisely from the coexistence (and connected ambiguity), within single witnesses, of narrative similarities and interpretative discordances, that it seems possible to reconstruct the plausible chronology of the sources, hypothesizing and analysing a sort of «re-semantization of memory».

Emidio Vergani
Il sinodo di Mar Isaac (410). Appunti e alcune linee di indagine

The Synod of Mar Ishaq (410) seems to be an Oriental version of Constantine’s reforms. In both cases, peace is established in the relations between Christians and the Empire: the community is unified by one doctrine and one disciplinary custom ratified by a Synod and by the Emperor. Yet the similarities between Constantine and Yazdgard subtend a historical context in which the role of Marutha of Maypherqat, the Roman ambassador to the Sasanian court, stands out. His action, in the ever-uncertain circumstances of history, pursues the ‘all-round’ success of the Church, both in the East and in the West. Hence, the Synod distinguishes itself not so much in its proud claim to the East’s autonomy from the West as in the implicit fulfillment of Ecumenical dialogue and in the sharing of texts: despite the length of the period concerned (325-410), the reception of the Nicene declaration of faith and of the canons provides proof of the common efforts to bear witness to a reliable, well-ordered Christian life in history.

Vittorio Berti
Il sinodo itinerante di Mar Aba del 540

The contribution aims to offer a new, standard study on the Synod convened by Catholicos Mar Aba that took place throughout the Iranian dioceses of Maishan, Fars and Elam during the Summer of 540. The research tries to unravel the knot of facts, events and later ideological reinterpretations. The detailed reconstruction of Mar Aba’s attitudes towards the pre-existing schismatic fragmentation of East Syrian metropolitan bishoprics permits us to gain a deeper insight into the role and meaning of synodical tools for rebuilding the lost unity of the Church.

Bishara Ebeid
Christology and Deification in the Church of the East. Mar Gewargis I, His Synod and His Letter to Mina as a Polemic Against Martyrius-Sahdona

We should like, with our paper, to highlight another aspect of the Christological controversy that took place immediately after the ‘nestorianization’ of the Church of the East in 612 AD. We mean the controversy of “Martyrius- Sahdona” and the reaction of the catholicos “Gewargis I”. In Martyrius’ Christology, the ‘divinization’ of the mystic is seen as a consequence of the ‘divinization’ of the human nature in Christ because of the union of the two natures that occurred in the one hypostasis and person of the Word, refuting in this way, the official doctrine of his Church, i.e. the two natures and hypostases united in the one person of Christ. Against this Christology, the catholicos Gewargis I attempted to intervene on two levels: canonical, through a synod convoked in Qatar in 676, and doctrinal, through a letter written in 679/680 and sent to Mina, a Corepiscope in Persia. In the synod, there was a controversy against certain ‘false monks’ and a focus on the importance of the Orthodox faith to counteract heretics; his letter, on the other hand, expressed a true controversy against those who taught the hypostatic union, i.e., Martyrius and his followers. In the letter, moreover, the catholicos proposes a doctrine of ‘divinization’, based, however, on the official Christological doctrine of his Church. Their Christologies will be studied and compared so we can illustrate better this important period of the history of this church. We will see also how the catholicos developed the Christology of the two-“qnomē” so that the doctrine of ‘divinization’ could be applicable in its metaphysical system.


Joost van Neer
Cunning as Serpents, Simple as Doves. Serm. 64 auct. (Lambot 12) and 64A (Mai 20). Two sermons by Augustine on Mat 10:16

It has long been assumed that Augustine’s sermons, due to their improvised nature, were arranged in a disorganised manner and were therefore not always easy to understand. Recent research into the use of language and Scripture has demonstrated, however, that this notion must now be regarded as obsolete. This article will show, on the basis of two sermons, sermones 64 auct. and 64A, both on Mat 10:16-23, that Augustine strove to implement a careful structure and a clear argument. Although the two sermons differ in content (each using different elements from the pericope), they are identical in format: once the arrangement from the Latin text edition is abandoned, it transpires that both texts consist of four blocks, the four parts that every sermon ideally comprises according to Augustine’s “De doctrina christiana”. This new division makes it easier to read and understand the sermons.

John Pollard
The Unpublished Encyclicals of the Pontificate of Pope Pius XI: De Ecclesia Christi, 1931

The papers from the pontificate of Pius XI (1922-1939) in the Vatican Secret Archives contain two unpublished encyclicals. The one published here, “De Ecclesia Christi”, is dated 31 October, 1931 and is only in typescript form. The encyclical constitutes a kind of dogmatic definition of Catholic doctrine concerning the nature and authority of the Church and its «visible head on earth the Roman pontiff». The encyclical appears to have been designed to reinforce the teaching authority of the Church at a time when it was threatened by various enemies – liberalism and anti-clericalism, Communism and later National Socialism – and when the Church’s teaching on such matters as divorce, abortion and euthanasia was being undermined by legislation in several states and a change of attitude inside the Anglican Church. The reasons why it was not eventually published are more difficult to fathom.

Gabriel Hachem
Le concept de «double communion» dans le project de Mgr Elias Zoghby. Quel modèle d’unité?

In 1975, Archbishop Elias Zoghby from the Greek Catholic Church launched an ecumenical initiative whose goal was to permit inter-communion between his Church and the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch. He promoted the concept of the «double communion» and affirmed it by referring to the model of Unity that existed during the first millennium, which kept the Churches united despite many breaks in the communion, besides theological controversies, between the Roman Catholic Church and Orthodoxy. The author offers an ecumenical understanding of the concept of ‘double communion’ through the evolution of this initiative up to its official adoption by the Greek Catholic Synod in 1996. He also presents the reactions of the Greek Orthodox Church and the Roman Congregations to the statement of the Greek Catholic Synod and attempts to analyze their impact on Zoghby’s project. Although it was not accepted by the Greek Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Churches, this ecumenical initiative still stimulates all the Churches involved to continue their journey together in the search for new, creative models of Unity in order to fulfill the will of the Lord.


Domenico Pazzini
Logos, incarnazione, etica, lingua in Origene. Dieci anni di studi (2001-2011)

We can group the “Origenian studies” in the years 2001-2011 under four words: logos, incarnation, ethics and language. The Origenian logos present a challenge to contemporary theology and require a distinction to be made between logos and Gospel, in order to study their distance and their proximity. An ‘against’, an ‘anti’, a ‘coupure’, and a doorway, an opening and a possibility of iteration converge to heighten the critical quest. Incarnation and Christology intersect, guide and benefit from the work of editing, translation and commentary on Origenian texts. “Ethics”, in its multiple individual, ecclesiastical and political aspects, seems to be the subject that emerges. Finally, a new focus is drawn to the language and style and a reconsideration of rhetoric, literary form and lexical elements is proposed as a way to penetrate Origenian thought.

Massimo Faggioli
‘The Benedict Option’ and the Debate on ‘Post-Christian America’

The article analyzes Rod Dreher’s best-selling book, “The Benedict Option”, in the context of the recent trends in ecclesiology, and particularly in political theology in the United States. The book is one of the recent calls for a complete withdrawal from the public square – almost a “compelle intrare” in reverse, ‘compel them to get out’ of ‘post-Christian’, secular, multi-cultural, and multi-religious societies. There are not only political, but also ecclesiological consequences for embracing ‘the Benedict option’: among them, the rejection of the idea of the common good, the return to a spurious form of political Augustinianism, and more generally the re-enchantment with Christianity before the 1960s as a golden past.


Ramón Teja, Le voyage impérial dans l’Antiquité tardive. Des Balkans au Proche Orient, di Sylvain Destephen

Étienne Fouilloux, Le temps des moines. Clôture et hospitalité, di Danièle Hervieu-Léger


Profeti e profetismi. Escatologia, millenarismo e utopia, a cura di A. Vauchez (V. De Fraja); A. Nicolotti, Sindone. Storia e leggende di una reliquia controversa (F. Bouthillon); J. IJsewijn, Humanism in the Low Countries. A Collection of Studies Selected and Edited by Gilbert Tournoy (A. Gerace); Martin Lutero, Le Resolutiones. Commento alle 95 Tesi (1518), a cura di P. Ricca (A. Russo); pp. 949-962,

C. Catalano, Philosophie et philosophes dans l’Augustinus de Cornélius Jansénius (D. Stanciu); F. Piva, Uccidere senza odio. Pedagogia di guerra nella storia della Gioventù cattolica italiana (1868-1943) (A. Santagata); É. Poulat, Le désir de voir Dieu et sa signification pour la théologie française contemporaine (A. Maigre); B. Lebel, Boquen entre utopie et révolution 1965-1976 (O. Chatelan); pp. 963-974

CrSt 2/2017




Abstract in inglese degli articoli → pdf scaricabile

Silvia Scatena
Giovanni Miccoli (30 agosto 1933 – 28 marzo 2017)     pdf scaricabile

Giuseppe Ruggieri
Memoria di Giuseppe Alberigo (1926-2007) →   pdf scaricabile

La ricerca storica internazionale sul cattolicesimo romano tra Cinquecento e Novecento. Per uno stato dell’arte
a cura di G. Battelli

Giuseppe Battelli

Il metodo, il materiale, gli strumenti

Giuseppe Battelli
La recente storiografia internazionale sul cattolicesimo romano tra Cinquecento e Novecento. Metodo e approcci, periodizzazione, statuto disciplinare

The essay focuses recent trends in the international historiography concerning Catholicism by the point of view of some questions as epistemology, approach evolution, connections sometimes useful sometimes dangerous with other branches of the social sciences. From these analysis flows a very variegated picture, in which different national traditions and historical perspectives live together. So, it’s hard to describe these one like a linear and homogeneous situation.

Enrico Galavotti
La storia dei cristiani nell’era digitale

The arrival of the digital age has deeply changed also the religious studies and, on the side of the research tools, it has been possible to observe over the last thirty years fundamental evolutions. If the simple scanning of library files and the creation of OPACs has revolutionized the research activity, the subsequent digitalisation of immense corpora has opened research possibilities that had seemed impossible just a few years previously. The spread of the virtual world raises the question of a radical rethinking of the work method of the historian involved in religious sciences and of the impact of his research: the same concept of book and, as a consequence, of the library as a place for its conservation has changed forever. There is still the question of the identification of the problems and of the definition of a work method that it should not be necessarily the fastest, but the most suitable for their solution.

Tra i nodi maggiori

Claus Arnold
Katholizismus und Modernisierung in der Neuzeit

During the past decades the historiographical concept of modernisation has been discussed with regard to Catholicism mainly in two respects: on the one hand concerning the Council of Trent and the so-called process of confessionalisation, on the other hand concerning papal anti-liberalism and anti- modernism and their surmounting until Vatican II. Both fields of research are characterised by analogous constellations, where a more sociologically inspired view of modernisation conflicts with views that are influenced by an emphatic understanding of modernity.

Corinne Bonafoux, Le catholicisme, ennemi de la modernité, une ligne de force de l’historiographie

Historians and sociologists of religions have analyzed and understood the links between Christianism, and more particulary Catholicism, and modernity according to three main paradigms. The first one, that I will call conflictual confrontation, argues that modernity is a process that is external to christianism; this interpretational framework identifies antagonistic principles between modernity and Catholicism and focuses on a series of crises. In a second, adaptative paradigm, christianism moves on to an aggiornamento and accepts the main characteristics of modernity, after a long period of resistance. This is visible in its relationship not only to politics and culture, but also internally. A third, homothetic paradigm posits that modernity was not born outside of Christianism, but rather, inside it and resulting from it. This is the paradigm of a modernity intrinsic to christianism. Controversies around post-modernity and the end of religion outline a new configuration that goes beyond these three paradigms.

Carlo Fantappiè
Chiesa, codificazione e modernità

Of all the Christian Churches, the Catholic Church is the only one who realized codifications in the modern sense during the 20th Century. It is important to investigate their function in the institutional, theological and juridical system of the Catholicism and their relationship with the civil codifications of the States. This paper presents a critical review of the studies dedicated to this subject, from the Vatican II to the present, opening some new questions about the consequences of the mutual imitation between the Catholic Church and the national States. The codifications of Canon Law represent, from a juridical and political perspective, a meeting point between the Catholic Church and the juridical modernity.

Maria Teresa Fattori
Chiesa della Controriforma, Stato della Chiesa, Stato secolare: parallelismi morfologici, alleanze ideologiche, contraddizioni

The article is a description and an analysis of the historiographical seasons from the Nineteenth years and moves from four different perspectives. The relationship between the Counter-reformation Church and the State of the Church are taken into considerations from the confessional rupture to the end of the confessional age, seen in the French Revolution and in the temporary end of the State of the Church in 1798. In the first perspective, the relation between State and Church are analysed in the light of the consequences for the ecclesiastical institutions and looking for the priority and seasons of the foreign policy. The second theme is connected to the peculiar system of government of the Papal State, State that knows phase of strong centralisation and the crisis of the medieval form of government, such as the participation of the Sacred College of cardinals in the main questions of the State; or the reduction of feudalism inside the territory of the State of the Church; or the administrative autonomy of peripheries. In the Roman system of government an important role is played by patronage, clientelism and nepotism from the confessional clash onwards. The nepotism system; the crisis of the synodal system of the concistoro; the bureaucratic procedures in the curia’s recruitments were the main point developed by scholars. The third section offers therefore a quick analysis on the relations between centre and peripheries, between structures of government and local realities. In a fourth inhomogeneous section are collected multidisciplinary studies on the social aspects of the Papal State, or history of specific apparatus, or specific regulatory framework.

Máximo García Fernández
Religiosidad popular y comportamientos colectivos. Europa, siglo XVI-1830

What have been the most powerful trends and where is the most recent European historiography on the themes of Catholic religiosity and there popular practices in the sacralized world of the Mediterranean “Ancien Régime”? Three axes have marked the center of the historical debates: the preparation for a good death, the world of the brotherhoods and the Spanish Inquisition.

Andrea Gardi
Problemi di distrettuazione ecclesiastica nella storiografia recente

The article inspects how major world historiographies illustrated in last twenty years the creations, unions, abolition of Roman catholic dioceses between XVI and XXI century; it first examines the general trend to neglect administration history in favour of perceptions history; then, it tries to extract from a set of representative works features which can be common to the whole phaenomenon and to distinguish its peculiarities in time (before the concordats, during their effectiveness, after their abandonment) and space (different mechanisms among latin-germanic Europe, European edges, hispano-portuguese America and the Philippines, french-british America and Oceania, Africa, India, China). The research underlines that modifying Church institutions has different meanings in respective contexts, but it is anyhow the result of precise political choices and social balances where Papacy, individual bishops and Churches, governments, local administrations, political parties and personalities, lobbies and laity structured groups do interact, in different degrees according to every situation.

Giovanni Miccoli
L’avversione per i gesuiti: un capitolo non secondario della storia della Compagnia di Gesù

In his last, unfinished essay, Giovanni Miccoli focuses on the historical issue of the hostility against Jesuits. As the Author states, these pages claim neither to be thorough nor provide a global reconstruction of the many occasions in which the hostility manifested throughout history. The goal is to shed a light on its basic grounds and features. The Author points out the role that hostility played both in the external conditions in which the Society of Jesus had to work and live, and in its inner experience. I.E. on Jesuits’s self-consciousness and on the face they showed others.

Joachim Schmiedl
Die katholische Kirche zwischen Primat, Kollegialität und Synodalität

The Council of Trent strengthened the bishop’s office in the Catholic Church. It took three centuries until papal infallibility and jurisdiction could be defined. Synodal assemblies were under the superintendent of the Roman Curia after the First Vatican Council. Lumen Gentium tried to restore the balance between pope and bishops. After the Second Vatican Council, the popes promoted the bishop’s synods, which were controlled by them, while synods were intensified in the countries and dioceses. The tension between centrality and synodality must, however, continue to be sustained and brought into a new relationship with each other.

Recensioni  pdf scaricabile

Memoria di Giuseppe Alberigo di Giuseppe Ruggieri –  download
Giovanni Miccoli di Silvia Scatena – download

CrSt 1/2017


Samuel Fernández
The Marginal Notes of the Venetus Marcianus graecus 47 and the History of the Reception of Origen’s De principiis

The Philocalia transmits in Greek two long chapters of Origen’s De principiis. One of the most important manuscripts of the Philocalia, the Venetus Marcianus graecus 47, contains abundant marginal notes, which react to the doctrine of Origen’s text. The present article aims to study these marginal notes to reconstruct part of the history of reception of the De principiis.

Vittorio Berti
Mar Aba the Great on Exodus: Fragments from the Commentary of Ishoʿdad of Merv and the Christian Topography of Cosmas Indicopleustes

The Catholicos Mar Aba I (d. 552 CE) was a prominent figure in the sixth-century scholastic culture of the Church of the East and a biblical exegete associated with the School of Nisibis. Unfortunately, few traces of his exegetical work have survived. Although his commentaries are lost, a number of his explanations can be found in later exegetical collections such as the commentaries of Ishoʿdad of Merv, the Gannat Bussame, and the so-called “Anonymous Commentary”. This paper presents some fragments of Mar Aba’s biblical interpretation on Exodus, clarifies in what form and by what method his writings may have originally been composed, and connects his teachings to Cosmas Indicopleustes’ Christian Topography.

Hyacinthe Destivelle
The ecclesiological significance of the annulment of the 1054 anathemas. For a theology of the dialogue of charity

The annulment of the excommunications of 1054 by the reciprocal acts of 7 December 1965 is considered to be the symbol of the ‘dialogue of charity’ between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, which was to prepare the ‘dialogue of truth’ with one another. Yet far from being a mere preparation for theological dialogue, the dialogue of charity itself is essentially theological: it is a theology in action. It is precisely thanks to the acts of 1965 that it was possible to gain insight into the theological dimension of the dialogue of charity. The ecclesiological significance of these acts introduced a new theological paradigm in relations between Catholics and Orthodox, inviting them to develop a theology of the dialogue of charity.

Andrea Tilatti
Hagiography and Biography. A Few Notes on the Youth of Thomas Aquinas and His Imprisonment

The capture and imprisonment of the young Thomas Aquinas is illustrated on the basis of a synoptic reading of the 13th and 14th century sources passed down to us. All of these sources are, to a certain degree, compromised by hagiographic additions. The embellishments and potential contradictions may be explained by the varying intentions on the part of the authors, as well as by the typology of the sources from which those documents were produced. This, however, does not render the efforts of historical research in vain. Practical implications and aspects may be deciphered through a reflection on the hagiographic, biographic and historiographic subtleties and nuances found in the various narratives.

Andrea Gardi
The papal governors of Comacchio (1598-1796) and their careers. Again about Popes’ political power

The article considers the features of the works that since mid-nineteenth century onwards studied the princedom whose the Popes were political sovereigns, and it spots the main lack of this literature in the scarcity of studies about the staff of peripheral offices, who were instead the men that everyday represented the face of papal power in front of its subjects; then, it reconstructs chronology, prosopography and careers of the pontifical governors of Comacchio since the devolution of Ferrara duchy upon the Holy See (1598) up to Napoleonic era (1796) and it compares them with the ones of other kinds of pontifical officials, in order to understand what was the social outline of the staff who served the Pope in his capacity as a prince, how the members of the aforesaid staff differentiated according to the different roles they held, and in which ways the peripherical State administration, that gradually replaces bureaucratic to patronage attitudes, could be factor of political agreement and social cohesion to Pontifical State.

Federico Ruozzi
Father Lorenzo Milani and the Letter to don Piero

The archival excavation carried out for the critical edition of the complete works dedicated to don Lorenzo Milani’s writings (1923-1967) on the fiftieth anniversary of his death (26 June 1967) has brought to light a mass of documentation that allows to better understand and study the figure and the work of the prior of Barbiana. The purpose of this article is to analyse the Letter to Don Piero, written mostly between 1953 and the first half of 1954, which remained unpublished until the publication of Esperienze pastorali (Lef, Florence 1958), and then included as Seconda Appendice in the only work signed ‘Lorenzo Milani’.

Alberto Guasco
The Tantur Ecumenical Institute for Advanced Theological Studies. First historical notes (1963-1978)

The official opening of the Tantur Ecumenical Institute for Advanced Theological Studies of Jerusalem (1972) was the fulfilment of the ecumenical dream of Paul VI, that the pope dreamed during Vatican Council II and his pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 1964 and built in a decade thanks to men and institutions working for Christian unity in the Sixties and the Seventies. The article aims to shed light on the history of the aforementioned Institute, examining published as well as unpublished sources coming from Jerusalem (Tantur Ecumenical Institute archive), Geneva (World Council of Churches archive), Milan (Carlo Colombo archive), Basel (Oscar Cullmann Archive), Bologna (Pierre Duprey Archive) and Montserrat (Monastery Archive).

Mariangela Maraviglia
Giuseppe Dossetti and David Maria Turoldo. Fragments of a long-distance dialogue

The article presents seven unpublished letters exchanged between two very active figures on the twentieth-century Italian religious scene: Giuseppe Dossetti and David Maria Turoldo. The letters bear witness to the constant interest they expressed for each other’s views over the years. In 1950 Turoldo wrote to Dossetti, then Deputy Secretary of the Christian Democrat party, to express his disappointment at the ruling party’s lack of a social policy, urging more decisive reform. The subsequent letters reveal both men’s disillusionment with the Italian ecclesiastical scene’s conservatism, in contrast with the Second Vatican Council that both had seen as the promise of a pastoral, theological, and spiritual renewal. The correspondence also reveals exchanges aimed at helping some people in difficulty, as well as meeting and collaborating together.