Patrich J., Palestinian Desert Monasticism. The Monastic Systems of Chariton, Gerasimus and Sabas, XVI, 1-9.
Three Palestinian monastic systems are compared, all of them lauritic ones, that developed and flourished in the Judean desert, the desert of Jerusalem from the early fourth to the mid sixth century. After a short description of the history of each system, the comparison discusses the following topics: the formulation of a written monastic rule, the daily life of the monks in their cells in each system, the novitiate, the prayer practices on Saturday and Sunday, and the administration of the monastery.
Rigo A., Il monte Galesion (Alaman Dag) e i suoi monasteri: da S. Lazzaro (m. 1053) alla conquista turca (ottobre 1304),XVI, 11-43.
Mount Galesion was one of the most important monastic centres during the Byzantine age. As the available sources regarding this settlement are extremely scarce and documents are almost non-existent, it is absolutely necessary to accurately examine hagiographic texts. By analysing Vitae by Lazaros (11th century), founder of the monasteries, and some Vitae of 13th-14th century saints (Athanasios, Meletios) the Author tells the history of this centre until October 1304, when the Turks destroyed the convents. Hagiographic texts also contain quite precious information on the different monasteries located on Mount Galesion, on their building, location, size and, generally speaking, on their history.
Cattaneo M., Maria versus Marianne. I «miracoli» del 1796 ad Ancona, XVI, 45-77.
The Author analyses a single aspect of a general religious phenomenon which affected Italy at the time of Napoleon’ s Campaign in 1796: the belief that the images of the Virgin, to whom common people were highly devoted, could perform miracles. The prodigy that took place, according to a woman of the common people, F. Massari, in St. Cyriac’s Church in Ancona – a town that lived in a state of religious paroxysm caused by the threat of the French troops and by the fear of a sudden attack by the local/native Jacobins – is meaningful. As a matter of fact it represents the first of a series of similar miracles that have been reported in the centre of Italy. This ≪case≫ can be well studied on the records of the trial which was started by the ecclesiastical authorities a few days after the ≪prodigy≫. As far as the local history is concerned the event marked, according to the Author’s conclusions, the re-establishment of the social cohesion within the town and determined a renewed confidence in the order that only the Church could guarantee. It also marked the beginning of the community’s long lasting period of devotion to the Virgin Mary which followed the age of Napoleon’ s presence in Italy, a time during which the radical requests of the Jacobins, who wanted to fight superstition, had not been fulfilled. On a general historical level the Author focuses his attention on the psychological, religious and cultural gap which prevented the revolutionaries from gaining a wide consent.
Menozzi D., Regalità sociale di Cristo e secolarizzazione. Alle origini della Quas primas, XVI, 79-113.
This essay deals with the origins of the doctrine of Christ’s social Kingship which Pius XI made formal creating a liturgical feast intended to invoke the establishment of a hierocratic society. This doctrine was created between 1860 and 1880 by a Jesuit, H. Ramière, from the province of Toulouse and rapidly found an international approval. Rami.re wants to create a doctrine which keeps the strict model of a return to medieval Christianity without giving it, however, a mandatory value. Furthermore, without objecting to the rules and the assumptions of intransigentism, with this doctrine Ramière wants to establish the fundament of any authentically Catholic policy included the one supported by liberal Catholics. Finally, he believes that the concept of a social kingship of Christ makes it possible to go beyond the passively waiting for the end which characterized some counter-revolutionary Catholic groups and encourages all Christians to be politically and socially active to make the Church and the Papacy triumphant in the world.
Verucci G., La chiesa cattolica e la secolarizzazione, XVI, 115-125.
The Author presents the book The Catholic Church and Secularization by Daniele Menozzi, pointing out the originality and the fertility of its methodological approach, the wideness of its research and its valuable results. The essays contained in the work examine the response and the reactions of the Church and of the whole European Catholic culture to the process of secularization during the last two centuries; this process, particularly due to the radical change represented by the French Revolution, caused a shifting from a sacred to a wordly-contractual approach to establish the rules which legitimate human society.
Osculati R., Zoltán Alszeghy (1915-1991) e la teologia romana, XVI, 127-139.
The Author outlines an intellectual portrait of the Hungarian Jesuit Alszeghy, who was a professor of dogmatics and of history of theology at the Università Gregoriana and describes his achievements as a scholar. The Author starts with Alszeghy’s research on Saint Paul’s medieval exegetics, moves to his studies on theological anthropology until the summa represented by his work on the mystery of the Cross in which this neo-testamentary theme becomes the principle to be followed in analysing the post-conciliar Church.
Turbanti G., «Il contributo dei paesi di lingua tedesca e dell’Europa orientale al concilio Vaticano II», XVI, 141-160.
This report regards the international symposium on Vatican Council II which was held in Würzburg in December 1993 and which was the fourth meeting included in a research project started in 1988 in Paris by an international group of scholars under the supervision of the Istituto per le scienze religiose of Bologna. The number of German speaking bishops in the Council was relatively limited, however their group was very united and it immediately became a reference also for other episcopates. Also the bishops coming from Eastern Churches, the so called .beyond the curtain. Churches, found a privileged interlocutor in the German speaking group, particularly thanks to the mediation of the bishops coming from the DDR. In Germany, where theological thinking still has a great cultural importance, the Council has been a fundamental point of reference for theology for the last decades and consequently has been studied with a mainly theological approach rather than a historical one. All these elements certainly influenced the symposium in Würzburg and made it more theologically oriented than the previous symposiums.
Ruggieri G., Koinonia, XVI, 237-243.
The editor of the monographic volume calls attention to the event during which the papers included in the volume were delivered (The Meeting on Koinonia organized by the Istituto per le scienze religiose in Bologna on April 13-14, 1993). Then explains the underlying aims of the meeting and the lines followed by individual authors.
Birmel. A., Status quaestionis de la théologie de la communion à travers les dialogues oecuméniques et l’évolution des différentes théologies confessionnelles, XVI, 245-284.
The author outlines the detailed development the notion of communion has gone through during our century in the different Christian confessions. The resulting picture is at the same time diversified and yet sufficiently consistent. It is possible to refer to a substantial agreement of Churches, although with an understandable variety of positions, regarding koinonia as a ≪crucial reality≫ on which the attention of all those who are guided by the oecumenical prospect is now focused.
Gaudemet J., Note sur l’excommunication, XVI, 285-306.
As regards the interaction between society and concept of Church community, excommunication is an explanatory element of the changes occurring in both areas. The author focuses on the evolution of the theory and practice regarding excommunication, going through the different stages from the fourth to the fourteenth century: while at first exclusion from the communion is perceived as the necessary consequence of a fault, and therefore still basically linked to a penitential process, in as early as the fifth century it increasingly often takes on a punishment role and becomes a repressive instrument in view of the integration that has been peculiar to Christianity for so many years. It will be during the process of secularization of society that the punitory character will be progressively reconsidered.
Melloni A., Note sul lessico della Communionis notio, XVI, 307-319.
In 1992 the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith wrote a letter to the bishops on the Church as communion, which was published the following year with the title Communionis notio. By that letter, the Congregation intended to offer an interpretation key to Vatican II’s view on the subject. The Author applies a comparative analysis of the lexicon of this document, on one hand, and that of council documents, on the other. He shows that the perspective of Communionis notio can be traced back to some Vatican II texts (such as the Nota explicativa previa), but its highest exemplification is to be found in Vatican I and Pius XII’s Mystici corporis. This can hardly be considered with the main concept of communio prevailing in Vatican II and expressed by the new Code of canon law.
Komonchak J.A., Concepts of Communion. Past and Present, XVI, 321-340.
The author emphasizes the difference between the concept of communio typical of Catholic theology after the Council of Trent and that of Vatican II. Within the former approach, the positions of Bellarmino and Frenzelin are adopted as representatives: according to both theologians, tough with different solutions, Church communion is limited to the visible dimension, while the substantial aspects of Christian life take on a minor importance. By contrast, the position of Vatican II centres on the spiritual dimension leading to a dynamic and open communion.
Tillard J.-M.R., Église catholique ou église universelle?, XVI, 341-359.
The author intends to identify and define a number of terms that have hindered the recent debate on communio. He suggests to reserve the adjective ≪universal≫ only to God’s redeeming design for all human beings which will only come true when Christ’s body expands to include all the predestined. The Church, sacrament of this design, should rather be qualified by its ≪Catholicity≫, a richer word from the point of view of quality than “particular” as opposed to ≪universal≫ when applied to the ≪local≫ Church does not seem to appropriately express the richness of the Christian tradition.
Dupuis J., Communion universelle. Églises chrétiennes et religions mondiales, XVI, 361-381.
Christian theology has always conceived ecumenism according to its restricted meaning of restored union between separate Christian Churches. This has always envolved a very limited concept of universal communion. Vatican II showed its intention of extending the dialogue and the recognition of common positive values to other non-Christian religions, although the word .communion. was never adopted in such cases – except where generally related to human community. The author points out that this process was accelerated by the teachings of post-council popes through the awareness of the positive redeeming role of great world religions, a role that developed what the Council had already declared. Thus it is now possible to build a real inter-religion, truly oecumenical universal communion. This can happen only on condition that the Church actually becomes a servant Church, a Church for other people.
Ruggieri G., La verità crocifissa fra Trinità e storia. Per una determinazione del rapporto tra verità e comunione, XVI, 383-406.
In contemporary discussions, there is a trend to juxtapose the truth-Christological dimension and the dynamic communion dimension, and this happens in both the inter-Church and the inter-religion debate. The result is a somewhat indeterminated theology of communion leading to the adoption of opposite concepts by those who refer to it. According to the author, the truth-communio juxtaposition depends on a lack of critical discernment, within faith and theology, with respect to the common notion of truth. For a Christian this is the same as Christ and access to the truth is only possible through the confession of faith. But Christ, seen as from his earthly life and according to the New Testament evidence, is truth and he takes himself man’s condition of ≪sin≫ and .curse. and, in this very way, reveals the Father. Truth in Christ is at the same time the acceptance of otherness and the revelation of the being of God. This truth is therefore doomed to come true according to the extent of Christ’s full maturity, through a constant acceptance of otherness. Hence, truth and communion are not two justaxposed necessities. It is true, however, that during the history of the Church, approach changes have taken place as a result of which special emphasis has been put on the normative implications of the formula expressing the truth, the doctrinal aspect and the contraposition to the error.