XX (1999)

XX (1999)

Stolti A., La biografia di Irene-Eulogia Cumnena Paleologhina (1291-1355): un riesame, XX, 1-40.

The present article deals with the reconstruction of the history of Irene Choumnaina, daughter of the Imperial Chancellor Nicephorus Choumnos and young widow of the despot John, who chose to pass her life in a convent, and who for nearly 50 years was abbess of one of the most important monasteries of Constantinople, the Philanthropos Soter. The first section deals with the two correspondences addressed to her, from her spiritual guides, the metropolitan of Philadelphia Theoleptus, and an anonymous second guide. The second section deals with her involvement in the Hesychastic controversy, through her support for Gregory Akindynos. Examination of the judgements of both the supporters and adversaries of the abbess reveals them either to belong to encomiastic literature or be merely topoi of the religious polemic. Indeed, in Palamite sources, the abbess is repeatedly compared to negative classical typological models (Lezebel, Eudoxia, Cadigia); and herself becomes a negative model, because of her opposition to Gregory Palamas, the .new Chrysostom ., and support of Akindynos, the .new Mahomet.. In anti-Palamite sources, on the contrary, the abbess is considered to be a model of holiness and perfection, to be praised and imitated.

Kelly S., King Robert of Naples (1309-1343) and the Spiritual Franciscans, XX, 41-80.

Piety was one of the cornerstones of the royal image and activity of King Robert of Naples and reveals much about his ruling strategy, but the nature of his piety requires re-assessment. Generally considered a devoted supporter of the heretical branches of the Franciscan Order, Robert has been viewed as a king whose radical religious commitment influenced his royal policy. Yet his politics and his patronage reveal Robert’s alliance with the forces of Orthodoxy, not Franciscan heresy. If not doctrinal radicalism, what then was the hallmark of Robert’s piety? His efforts to secure the canonization of two doctrinally opposed friars – his brother Louis of Anjou and his fellow countryman Thomas Aquinas – as well as his renowned patronage of eminent theologians, suggest that Robert’s pious activity was informed principally by a desire to glorify his kingdom, his family, and his court – and hence his own rule.

Izbicki T.M., Cajetan’s Attack on Parallels Between Church and State, XX, 81-90.

At the time of the Fifth Lateran Council, Thomas de Vio (Cajetan), master general of the Dominicans and then a cardinal, engaged in an exchange of polemics with Jacques Almain, a Parisian doctor of theology, about the locus of governing authority in the Church. Almain argued from a parallel between civil and ecclesiastical society for a limited papal monarchy. Cajetan replied denying this parallel and arguing that Christ founded the Church as a monarchy but left the structures of civil regimes to human reason. Cajetan’s argument was grounded in the Thomist tradition, which respected the role of reason in the political sphere. Buonasorte N., Giacomo Lercaro: contributo alla conoscenza del periodo genovese (1891-1947), XX, 91-146. The article deals with Giacomo Lercaro’s time in Genoa between 1897 and 1947, in particular his formative years, and the two most important experiences which prepared the way for his elevation to the bishopric: his teaching in the city seminary and in state schools, and later activity as parish priest. The influences at work in his religious environment and in the political context of the first decades of the century are brought to light, together with the personal synthesis he worked out in spiritual and cultural matters; some of the founding principles of his later role in Church reform can be recognized here.

Fubini R., Baronio e la tradizione umanistica. Note su di un libro recente, XX, 147- 160.

Taking issue with S. Zen, Fubini argues against the latter’s generic use of the notion of .philology. when attributed to the author of Annales Ecclesiastici. He distinguishes between the humanist tradition, carried on by such authors as Onofrio Panvinio and Carlo Sigonio, and Baronius’ new apologetics, which takes their place in the reply to the Centuriae Magdeburgenses. Attention is focused on Baronius’ criticism of the Donation of Constantine, which, while denying the authenticity of the Constitutum, nevertheless rescues the legend of Sylvester, and with it the primacy of the Church over the Empire. Finally he examines the historico-political aspects of the Annales, in the ways they differed from the pro-Roman historiography of Biondo and Sigonio. Bolado A.A., La «Carta Colectiva» del episcopado español (1937), XX, 161-170. Issued ten months after the start of the Civil War, the Carta Colectiva was in a way just one further step in the Spanish Church’s involvement. Yet it was such a decisive step that it became the very symbol of that involvement. The present article brings out in particular what the Carta added or omitted, compared to the episcopal discourse of the previous months. Its propagandist simplification helped the Colectiva to succeed. However, it vulgarized the underlying social conflict, reduced the scale and significance of the Basque conflict, debased the value of the legitimate democratic order, and finally, passed over the crudity and extent of repression, as if it didn’t exist. Finally Bolado underlines the impact the Carta Colectiva had on the international community, especially the Catholic community, and the consequences.

Aubert R., À propos de l’oeuvre de Klaus Schatz, Vaticanum I 1869-1870, XX, 171-182.

Schatz’s three-volume work on Vatican Council I (1869-70) takes into consideration its preparation, development and reception, using the complete body of sources at present available. From a perspective at the same time ereignisgeschictlich and ideengeschichtlich, this history of the Council enable us to arrive at a clearer estimate of the precise value of its decisions, by systematically referring them to their historical context.

Laurence P., Albine. La conversion d’une aristocrate romaine au sanctum propositum, XX, 257-274.

This article focuses on Albina Caeionia, one of the Roman aristocrats who converted to the way of life of the Fathers of the Desert in the 4th and 5th centuries, and who is above all known as the mother of Melania the Younger. Albina is an illustration of how some members of the gentes were not content to make do with a normal form of Christianity. She was born of a Christian mother and was given in marriage to a Patrician who looked favourably on Christianity. After the death of her husband she followed her own daughter and son-in-law to Jerusalem where she helped to found two monasteries. Although there is evidence that suggests her faith may not have been as strong as that of her daughter, she became a nun, agreeing to cut herself off from the world and allowing her wealth to be dissipated. Albina always supported Melania in her works and intervened when she was in need of protection.

J.dar-Estrella C., La interpretación de Is 7,14 en el Dialogo de Pedro Alfonso y su fundamentacion hermenéutica, XX, 275-298. Pedro Alfonso’s Dialogo, which dates from the 12th century, is one of the first apologias to be published in medieval Spain by a converted Jew. It takes the form of a literary dialogue between the author and a character, Moses, who is intended to represent the author before his conversion. This literary artifice allows us to highlight those elements in his hermeneutics of the Bible which change after his conversion and those which remain constant. His commentary of the well-known prophecy in Isaiah 7,14 provides us with an opportunity of observing how Pedro Alfonso has made the Christian regula fidei, founded on the New Testament, the starting point of his interpretation, without, however, renouncing his scientific knowledge and his Hebrew philology and exegesis.

Paiano M., Liturgia, società e politica nella JOC belga negli anni tra le due guerre mondiali, XX, 299-326.

The Belgian Jeunesse ouvri.re chr.tienne, founded in 1925 by J. Cardijn, always gave great importance, both directly and indirectly, to the liturgy in its apostleship. The movement considered the liturgy to be the main source of spirituality for its militants as well as a means of attracting the principle objects of their apostleship: the dechristianised masses. Furthermore, the Eucharist was seen both as the moment in which the aims of the movement’s apostleship were symbolically realised through the redemption and sanctification of the working classes, as well as an instrument of inner transformation of the JOC militants which was supposed to make their lives similar to that of Christ and in this way give them a power of attraction over non-believers and the capacity to christianise their environment. During the thirties, in particular, the liturgy became increasingly important in the movement’s mission and greater emphasis was given to its political and social value. These changes were part of a more complex series of adjustments which were prompted by the success of propaganda from atheist or anti-Christian movements and the quasi-religious nature of their ideologies which equipped themselves with their own liturgies – the reference here being to the mass rituals used both by communist and socialist movements as well as by right-wing regimes. The effectiveness of the .liturgies. of these .lay religions. prompted the JOC to intensify its relationship with its own liturgical prayers and to accentuate their political significance: the public recognition of the .Christian Sunday. became one of the movement’s objectives and was at the same time a necessary pre-condition for any re-establishment of a Christian social order.

Fattori M.T., Il tema dei laici dagli anni trenta al concilio Vaticano II. Rassegna delle fonti e dei percorsi (1930-1965), XX, 327-384.

The author reviews and interprets the debate on the position of the laity within the Church, both from a theological point of view and in terms of the history of the main lay apostolic movements. The selections have been chosen on the basis of the notion of Christian laity which emerges from the documents Apostolicam Actuositatem and Lumen Gentium drawn up during the Vatican Council and in relation to the debate which took place primarily in the francophone world and only to a lesser degree in Italy. The period under examination is divided into three phases. The first phase begins with the regulation by the Papacy of the role of the laity within Catholic Action (Azione cattolica) and ends with the war: a period dominated by the doctrine of the social kingdom of Christ. At the beginning of the second phase, the war both caused problems and allowed solutions which loosened the strict relationship between Papal declarations and theological doctrine, which loosened Roman control over the movements: this was the moment when a theology of the laity was born, closely tied to a reflection on the relationship between the Church and the modern world. The last phase was opened by Yves J.-M. Congar: a theology of the laity founded on a re-reading of the Church structure, which, although it was not fully developed yet, was accepted and sanctioned by the Council, an act which involved taking into account the variety of lay organisations which had arisen over the world and which were keen to be accorded the same .cast privileges. as those held by Catholic Action.

Alberigo G., Il Concilio Vaticano II e le trasformazioni culturali in Europa, XX, 385-408.

The article begins with an historical, cultural, political and religious analysis of the decades which preceded the Second Vatican Council, during which the Church became increasingly eurocentric and reinforced its already very centralized and burocratical structure. Furthermore the Church developed the tendency of opposing the spread of ideologies by assuming an ideological position itself. The birth of a number of movements in the 20s and 40s shows that there was strong push for reform, as well as the desire in the missionary world to completely revise the question of the unity of the Church. Pope John XXIII’s decision to direct the Church and Christianity towards a period of modernisation should be understood in this context, then. Its starting point is the Council which will necessarily have to recognise the particularly complex historical moment in which it is taking place: one which is full of significance and opportunity. The author highlights the signs of the hoped-for renewal in, amongst others, the documents published by the assembly, drawing attention to the partial, difficult, and for some rather disappointing, application of these and of the spirit of the Council.

Prinzivalli E. – Bocchini Camaiani B., Donne e fede. Una discussione a due voci, XX, 409-422.

In looking at this first volume of the series by Laterza Storia delle donne in Italia (The history of women in Italy), the two authors begin by underlining the importance of beginning the series with this particular subject. The book covers two thousand years of Christian history and tackles key problems in the long and difficult relationship between women and the Christian faith, underlining how an effort has been made to combine scrupulous research with a comprehensive interpretative approach. E. Prinzivalli looks at this relationship in the period from antiquity to medieval times pointing out the variety of feminine roles which can be found. B. Bocchini, on the other hand, looks al the essays concerning the modem and contemporary ages and, as well as recognising the result achieved so far, underlines the avenues of research which have yet to be explored.

Birmel. A., Status quaestionis de la théologie de la communion à travers les dialogues oecuméniques et l’évolution des différentes théologies confessionnelles, XX, 423-444.

The article looks at the dialogue over the Eucharist which has been conducted over the last twenty years between Catholics and Protestants. The author looks at the six main themes which are traditionally a source of contention and highlights both those areas where there is agreement and those where there remain differences which effectively impede any communion between the Churches. The main problems do not lie so much in questions over the ministry or interpretations of the real presence, but in the different understanding of the Church itself and its role in the divine scheme of things.

Menozzi D., Profezia e potere. Aspetti politici del profetismo cristiano, XX, 511-520.

The Editor of this number of the journal introduces the overall theme which the essays included in this issue have in common: that is the close relationship between the civil and religious powers and the act of prophecy, a relationship which has persisted throughout the many centuries of Christian history, and highlights the specific contribution that each essay makes to our understanding of this theme.

Filoramo G., Profezia e politica nelle Storie monastiche di Cirillo di Scitopoli, XX, 521-544.

This article discusses the connection between prophecy and politics in ancient Christendom in the light of a more general hypothesis on the .transfer., after the Montanist crisis, of the function of the prophet from the traditional figure of the primitive communities to both institutional and non-institutional figures such as the didascalos or the exegete, the bishop or the monk. The author first outlines the role played by prophecy in Cyril of Schitopolis Monastic Lives and then goes on to analyse the problems of the relationship between prophetic charisma and political power as they emerge in the text as a whole. The picture that emerges from Monastic Lives is then contextualised against a background of precedents, in particular Theodoret’s Religious History, in order to highlight both its continuities and its novelties.

Kaup M., Merlin, ein politischer Prophet: Genese, Funktion und Auslegung merlinischer

Prophetie im Spiegel zweier unedierter Kommentare des 12. und 13. Jahrhundert, XX, 545-578.

The figure of Merlin first appears as political prophet in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britannie, completed in about 1138. The mainly political Prophecies which are attributed to him made Merlin rapidly famous throughout Europe, to the extent that authors of new prophecies would attribute their own texts to him. That said, for two of the most important political prophecies of the 13th century – Verba Merlini, a work produced in the Jacomite circles of Southern Italy, and Sibillia Erithrea, a text which emerged from an environment closely linked to these circles – it is not possible to establish a direct link to the Prophecies of Merlin. The most important commentaries on these prophecies, which have never been published, are the Explanatio in prophctiam Merlini Ambrosii, written towards the end of the twelfth century by a French Cistercian monk, and the Super Sibillis et Merlino, written in the mid-thirteenth century, probably by someone from Florian rather than Franciscan Jacomite circles. Both works are a testimony to the lively political interests of their author and would certainly merit a critical edition. The Explanatio is one of the most interesting works to emerge from the Cistercian environment after the death of S. Bernard, while the Super Sibillis et Merlino is part of a group of Jacomite works which exerted a strong influence in the mid-thirteenth century on the reception of Joachim of Fiore.

Morisi Guerra A., La profezia di un impolitico: la condanna di Francesco da Meleto al sinodo fiorentino del 1516, XX, 579-594.

After the death of Savonarola at the stake, Florence went through a particularly intense period of prophesising. With the return to power of the Medici, prophecy acquired a political value which aroused the suspicion and consequent repression of the authorities. The influence within the Roman curia of hard-line figures was such that even a simple desire for reform within the Church was seen as blasphemous and doctrinal motives were attributed to all prophecy in order to justify it being condemned as heretical. The prophet Francesco da Meleto and his most determined accuser Paolo Giustiniani are two typical figures in this process.

Caffiero M., Politica e profezia femminile in età moderna. Il processo di Valentano (1774-1775), XX, 595-638.

In Europe during the Counter-Reformation, ecclesiastical control over prophecy did not prevent visionary women and female prophets from asserting themselves and cutting out a degree of autonomy for themselves. Their prophecies often acquired a political significance which might tend towards a consolidation of the established order just as it might attempt to challenge it. An important instance is the trial in 1774-75 of the female prophets of Valentano carried out by the Sant’Ufficio. The case was sparked off by the crisis which followed suppression of the Jesuit order and is, one the one hand, an example of the new strategies adopted by the Church to secure Catholic dominion over society; while on the other, it is an expression of the anxiety felt by the Church in the face of the progressive secularisation of society. These female prophecies, visions, and miracles are an attempt, then, to respond to the challenges of modernity and the great social and cultural changes taking place, and they are a testimony to the greater faithfulness of women to the Church, a devotion which will become even more marked in the nineteenth century.

Menozzi D., «Profeta di Cristo Re»: una lettura di Savonarola nella cultura cattolica tra Otto e Novecento, XX, 639-698.

This essay seeks to investigate political prophecy in the contemporary age by looking at how Catholicism interpreted Savonarola as .Prophet of Christ the King. during the 19th and 20th centuries. This theme first appeared – without much success – within nineteenth century groups of conciliatoristi, who saw the .governo civile. predicted by Savonarola as a prophetic Catholic legitimisation of a liberal dispensation. The theme was then taken up and developed at the beginning of next century within a few intransigent environments as an attempt to identify Savonarola’s project as the prophecy of a necessary return to a medieval form of Christendom. The attempt, however, to cast Savonarola in the role of prophet of the theocratic order indicated in the encyclical Quas primas by Pius XI met with difficulties and resistance in the period between the two wars. It was put forward again after the end of the Second World War as a prophetic vision of the .Christian Democracy. which Pius XII sought to promote and the paradigm survived the collapse of the Christian parties. It re-emerged, in fact, after the Second Vatican Council within traditionalist circles and it persists as an undercurrent in those sectors of the Catholic world which continue to see Christianity as the basis on which to build an ordered society.