1st Edition

Reforming the Church before Modernity Patterns, Problems and Approaches

Edited By Louis I. Hamilton, Christopher M. Bellitto Copyright 2005

    Reforming the Church before Modernity considers the question of ecclesial reform from late antiquity to the 17th century, and tackles this complex question from primarily cultural perspectives, rather than the more usual institutional approaches. The common themes are social change, centres and peripheries of change, monasticism, and intellectuals and their relationship to reform. This innovative approach opens up the question of how religious reform took place and challenges existing ecclesiological models that remains too focussed on structures in a manner artificial for pre-modern Europe. Several chapters specifically take issue with the problem of what constitutes reform, reformations, and historians' notions of the periodization of reform, while in others the relationship between personal transformation and its broader social, political or ecclesial context emerges as a significant dynamic. Presenting essays from a distinguished international cast of scholars, the book makes an important contribution to the debates over ecclesiology and religious reform stimulated by the anniversary of Vatican II.

    Part I Social Change and Religious Reform; Chapter 1 Church Reform and Society in Late Antiquity, Robert A. Markus; Chapter 2 Gaudium et Spes: Ecclesiastical Reformers at the Start of a “New Age”, John Howe; Part II The Ideas of Reform and the Intellectuals; Chapter 3 Self and Cosmos in Becoming Deiform: Neoplatonic Paradigms for Reform by Self-knowledge from Augustine to Aquinas, Wayne J. Hankey; Chapter 4 The Early Scholastics and the Reform of Doctrine and Practice, Marcia L. Colish; Chapter 5 Fides quaerens et non quaerens intellectum: Reform and the Intellectuals in the Early Modern Period, John O’Malley; Part III Clerical Reform; Chapter 6 Clerical Hierarchy and Imperial Legislation in Late Antiquity: The Reformed Reformers, Rita Lizzi Testa; Chapter 7 To Consecrate the Church: Ecclesiastical Reform and the Dedication of Churches 1 Portions of the research for this article were completed through the generosity of the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship for research at the Vatican Film Library, Saint Louis University, and the Fulbright Program. I would like to thank Richard F. Gyug for inviting me to participate in the conference “The Liturgy in Rome in the Eleventh Century” (Fordham University, April 1999), where this talk was originally presented. The late Rev. Leonard E. Boyle, OP graciously read and commented on an early draft of the article. I would also like to thank Daniel L. Smail for offering valuable suggestions and corrections, and Sible De Blaauw for timely help with questions of Roman architecture., Louis I. Hamilton; Chapter 8 The Reform of the Episcopate in the Libellus to Leo X by the Camaldolese Hermits Vincenzo Querini and Tommaso Giustiniani, Giuseppe Alberigo; Part IV The Processes of Reform; Chapter 9 The Church in the Roman Empire: Changes without Reform and Reforms without Change, Claire Sotinel; Chapter 10 Text and Authority in the Formation of the Cistercian Order: Re-assessing the Early Cistercian Reform, Martha G. Newman; Chapter 11 Compliance and Defiance: The Daughters of Charity and the Council of Trent, Susan E. Dinan;


    Dr Christopher M. Bellitto is Assistant Professor in the History Department at Kean University, Union, New Jersey, USA, and Dr Louis I. Hamilton is a Post Doctoral Associate in the History Department at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA.

    ’The collection's strength lies here, in its skillful melding of what might appear disparate ideas by keeping at its heart a quest for a precise definition of what is meant by the term 'reform'.’ Sixteenth Century Journal