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The complete text of the Letters of Barsanuphius and John appears here in English for the first time. John Chryssavgis's faithful and deft translation brings vividness and freshness to the wisdom of a distant world, ensuring its accessibility to contemporary readers. Addressed to local monastics, lay Christians, and ecclesiastical leaders, these remarkable questions and responses (850 of them) offer a unique glimpse into the sixth-century religious, political, and secular world of Gaza and Palestine during a period torn by doctrinal controversy and in a context shaped by the tradition of the early desert fathers. The ""great old man,"" Barsanuphius, and the ""other old man,"" John, flourished near Gaza around the early sixth century. Choosing to dwell in complete isolation, they saw no one with the exception of their secretaries, Seridos and the well-known Dorotheus of Gaza. Barsanuphius and John communicated in silence through letters with numerous visitors who approached them for counsel. Curiously, this inaccessibility became the very reason for the popularity of the elders. They formed an extraordinarily open system of spiritual direction, which allowed space for conversation and even conflict in relationships, while also accounting for the wisdom and the wit of the correspondence. Barsanuphius's inspirational advice responds to problems of a more spiritual nature; John's institutional advice responds to more practical problems. The two elders in fact complement one another, together maintaining a harmonious authority-in-charity. Their letters are characterized by spontaneity and sensitivity, as well as by discretion and compassion. They stress ascetic vigilance and evangelical ""violence,"" gratitude and joy, humility and labor, prayer and tears.
In this volume, The Fathers of the Church returns to the Christian Latin writers of the Iberian Peninsula, hitherto represented only by Orosius (Vol. 50) and Prudentius (Vols. 43, 52). What is now Portugal embraces Braga, the see-city of Martin, Pannonian-born missionary. While abbot of nearby Dumium, Martin had a pupil Paschasius, whose Questions and Answers of the Greek Fathers has never before been translated complete in any language. To what is now Spain belongs the third author in the volume, Leander, future bishop of Seville, where he was succeeded by his more famous and more prolific brother, Isidore. As with Paschasius, the works of Leander of Seville and of Martin of Braga are translated complete, many for the first time. The subjects range widely and include ethics (with the doctrine sometimes coming from Seneca or other pre-Christian writers), pastoral and ascetical theology, monastic discipline, liturgy, and the computation of the date of Easter.
Over the course of its three-hundred-year history, the Catholic Church in Louisiana witnessed a prolonged shift from French to English, with some south Louisiana churches continuing to prepare marriage, baptism, and burial records in French as late as the mid-twentieth century. Speaking French in Louisiana, 1720- 1955 navigates a complex and lengthy process, presenting a nuanced picture of language change within the Church and situating its practices within the state's sociolinguistic evolution. Mining three centuries of evidence from the Archdiocese of New Orleans archives, the authors discover proof of an extraordinary one-hundred-year rise and fall of bilingualism in Louisiana. The multiethnic laity, clergy, and religious in the nineteenth century necessitated the use of multiple languages in church functions, and bilingualism remained an ordinary aspect of church life through the antebellum period. After the Civil War, however, the authors show a steady crossover from French to English in the Church, influenced in large part by an active Irish population. It wasn't until decades later, around 1910, that the Church began to embrace English monolingualism and French faded from use. The authors' extensive research and analysis draws on quantitative and qualitative data, geographical models, methods of ethnography, and cultural studies. They evaluated 4,000 letters, written mostly in French, from 1720 to 1859; sacramental registers from more than 250 churches; parish reports; diocesan council minutes; and unpublished material from French archives. Their findings illuminate how the Church's hierarchical structure of authority, its social constraints, and the attitudes of its local priests and laity affected language maintenance and change, particularly during the major political and social developments of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Speaking French in Louisiana, 1720- 1955 goes beyond the ""triumph of English"" or ""tragedy of Cajun French"" stereotypes to show how south Louisiana negotiated language use and how Christianization was a powerful linguistic and cultural assimilator.
When Andrew Jackson's removal policy failed to solve the ""Indian problem,"" the federal government turned to religion for assistance. Nineteenth-century Catholic and Protestant reformers eagerly founded reservation missions and boarding schools, hoping to ""civilize and Christianize"" their supposedly savage charges. In telling the story of the Saint Francis Indian Mission on the Sicangu Lakota Rosebud Reservation, Converting the Rosebud illuminates the complexities of federal Indian reform, Catholic mission policy, and pre- and post-reservation Lakota culture. Author Harvey Markowitz frames the history of the Saint Francis Mission within a broader narrative of the battles waged on a national level between the Catholic Church and the Protestant organizations that often opposed its agenda for American Indian conversion and education. He then juxtaposes these battles with the federal government's relentless attempts to conquer and colonize the Lakota tribes through warfare and diplomacy, culminating in the transformation of the Sicangu Lakotas from a sovereign people into wards of the government designated as the Rosebud Sioux. Markowitz follows the unpredictable twists in the relationships between the Jesuit priests and Franciscan sisters stationed at Saint Francis and their two missionary partners - the United States Indian Office, whose assimilationist goals the missionaries fully shared, and the Sicangus themselves, who selectively adopted and adapted those elements of Catholicism and Euro-American culture that they found meaningful and useful. Tracing the mission from its 1886 founding in present-day South Dakota to the 1916 fire that reduced it to ashes, Converting the Rosebud unveils the complex church-state network that guided conversion efforts on the Rosebud Reservation. Markowitz also reveals the extent to which the Sicangus responded to those efforts - and, in doing so, created a distinct understanding of Catholicism centered on traditional Lakota concepts of sacred power.
In The Theology of Marriage Cormac Burke has put together a collection of his most innovative theological theses and analyses, offering original insights and analyses that could help in resolving many current debates on the theology of marriage. At the same time his view goes beyond these debates. His writings are marked by an extremely positive view of sexuality and marriage. Ultimately he insists on the matrimonial vocation as a call to holiness; and delineates the particular graces married couples receive and the challenges they must face. A former civil lawyer, a teacher of moral theology, and a specialist in marriage, Burke found himself unexpectedly called in 1986 to be a judge of the Roman Rota, the High Court of the Church. He began his work there precisely at a moment when theologians and canonists alike found themselves grappling with interpreting and finding the practical application of new magisterial teachings on matrimony - teachings that seemed to some to represent an almost total rupture with tradition. Central and particularly controversial issues were the new definition of marriage itself and of its ends, the "personalist" way of expressing the nature of marital consent; and, not least, the concept of the bonum coniugum, "the good of the spouse", as a co-principal end of marriage. Msgr. Burke, well attuned to John Paul II's personalist theology of marriage, sensed the need to seek the roots of these apparently new concepts in the Bible, in Tradition, and particularly in St. Augustine (in whom, despite many modern impressions to the contrary, he sees the first defender of the goodness of the marital covenant). The result over the past twenty five years has been an impressive body of work in theological as well as canonical reviews.
The only Catholic Study Bible based on the Revised Standard Version 2nd Catholic Edition, the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible New Testament brings together all of the books of the New Testament and the penetrating study tools developed by renowned Bible teachers Dr. Scott Hahn and Curtis Mitch.
This volume presents the written Word of God in a highly readable, accurate translation, excellent for personal and group study. Extensive study notes, topical essays and word studies provide fresh and faithful insights informed by time-tested, authentically Catholic interpretations from the Fathers of the Church and other scholars. Commentaries include the best insights of ancient, medieval and modern scholarship, and follow the Church's guidelines for biblical interpretation. Plus, each New Testament book is outlined and introduced with an essay covering questions of authorship, date of composition, intended audience and general themes. The Ignatius Study Bible also includes handy reference materials such as a doctrinal index, a concise concordance, a helpful cross-reference system, and various maps and charts.
Does the human being really have a soul? Is the idea of 'soul' a matter of religious faith? If science cannot detect the soul, how can reasonable people speak of it? The Soul of the Person is a contemporary account of the metaphysical basis for the transcendence of the human person. In being directed toward truth, beauty, and goodness, the human person transcends the physical order and reveals himself as a spiritual, as well as a material, being. The metaphysical principle for this transcendence is what we call the soul. In this book, Adrian Reimers presents a rereading and interpretation of Thomas Aquinas's account of human nature. The book's argument is based principally on two modern thinkers: Charles Sanders Peirce and his theory of habit and sign, and Karol Wojtyla and his notion of the transcendence of the acting person. According to Reimers, the person is constantly in the process of self-realization, which occurs through the rational adoption and development of habits. ""Rationality"" is not a purely mental phenomenon; rather, it imbues our entire being. The human person forms his behavior--habits--rationally according to his ideals of what is truly good, even if that vision of the good is flawed, incomplete, or unacknowledged. This development of habits directed toward values is the root of the person's consciousness of self. Furthermore, the values by which one forms his life define the self that he more clearly becomes as a person. The rational principle by which he develops these habits is called the soul. The text concludes with an explanation of the immortality of the soul. ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Adrian J. Reimers is adjunct assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author An Analysis of the Concepts of Self-Fulfillment and Self-Realization in the Thought of Karol Wojtyla, Pope John Paul II. PRAISE FOR THE BOOK: ""One of the underlying concerns animating the writing of this book is the challenge posed by the pervasive contemporary agnosticism concerning the existence of the soul. Many students today, including Catholics, consider the soul to be a purely religious matter, a mere tenet of personal faith. Reimers is sensitive to this challenge, and The Soul of the Person is his answer. While parts of the book are technical and obviously intended for philosophers, most of it should be accessible to any educated and attentive reader. . . . In this respect, probably not since David Braine's The Human Person: Animal and Spirit (1992) has there been such a thoroughgoing analysis of philosophical anthropology based on such a thoroughgoing synthesis of the contemporary literature. . . . [T]he book is also distinguished by Reimers's impressive gift for providing numerous helpful illustrations and sometimes humorous examples . . . and his extensive discussion of various scientific, mathematical, and logical cases. One gets the sense that Reimers is most likely an engaging instructor in his classroom."" -- Philip Blosser, The Thomist ""He has produced a helpful contribution to the literature on the soul, aiming to steer a course between the two poles of mind -- body dualism and materialism and to come up with a holistic solution which recognizes both the spiritual and material nature of human beings. . . . I recommend this book to all who are interested in the fundamental question of what it means to be a person."" -- Rodney Holder, The Journal of Theological Studies ""[An] important contribution to contemporary philosophical psychology. . . . In this book, Reimers has, in the present reviewer's view, made a significant contribution to present debates concerning the human person. . . . This work deserves a wide readership. Those who wish to promote a culture of life ought to take it up straight away."" -- Kevin E. O'Reilly, Review of Metaphysics
Servant of God Nicholas Black Elk (1863-1950) is popularly celebrated for his fascinating spiritual life. How could one man, one deeply spiritual man, serve as both a traditional Oglala Lakota medicine man and a Roman Catholic catechist and mystic? How did these two spiritual and cultural identities enrich his prayer life? How did his commitment to God, understood through his Lakota and Catholic communities, shape his understanding of how to be in the world? To fully understand the depth of Black Elk's life-long spiritual quest requires a deep appreciation of his life story. He witnessed devastation on the battlefields of Little Bighorn and the Massacre at Wounded Knee, but also extravagance while performing for Queen Victoria as a member of "Buffalo Bill" Cody's Wild West Show. Widowed by his first wife, he remarried and raised eight children. Black Elk's spiritual visions granted him wisdom and healing insight beginning in his childhood, but he grew progressively physically blind in his adult years. These stories, and countless more, offer insight into this extraordinary man whose cause for canonization is now underway at the Vatican.
This book investigates the recent renewed theological focus on ecclesiology and the practices of the church. In light of the diminishing role of the church in Western society over the last century, it considers how theologians have come to view church life as essential to faith and theological thinking. The chapters analyze key works by John Milbank, Stanley Hauerwas and Nicholas Healy, and bring them into conversation with an earlier phase in church history. The historical comparison focuses on the renewal of ecclesiology in Roman Catholic theology in the early twentieth century, represented by Romano Guardini, Odo Casel, and Henri de Lubac. Outlining how the present 'turn to the church' can be seen as promising, the volume provides readers with a sketch of how a church-centred theology might assist the church in inhabiting an increasingly 'post-Christian' world.
In 1953, the Fathers of the Church series published selected sermons of St. Peter Chrysologus (ca. 406-50), Archbishop of Ravenna and Doctor of the Church, thereby making thirty percent of his authentic sermons available to an English-speaking audience. With the publication of this volume all of Chrysologus's authentic sermons up to number 72 are now available in English. The sermons offer readers a glimpse into the daily life, religious debates, political milieu, and Christian belief and practice in the second quarter of fifth-century Ravenna. Chrysologus preached and served as bishop at a time when the seat of the western Roman Empire was located in Ravenna. His career as bishop bridged the closing years of Augustine's episcopate in North Africa and the early years of Pope Leo the Great's pontificate in Rome. His sermons attest to his relations with the ruler of the state, the Empress Galla Placidia, as well as his familiarity with some of the significant theological controversies of the day. His chief importance, however, was not as an outstanding theologian, but as a shepherd who ruled his flock and preached well to its members. Loyally orthodox, he urged them to practice Christian virtues. He was concerned with their moral rectitude and spiritual growth, their understanding of the basic tenets of the Christian faith, their reverence and love for God, and their immersion in the Scriptures. Chrysologus's sermons are relatively brief in length, at least according to patristic standards, and he combines colloquial speech with a highly rhetorical flourish. The imagery that he employs indicates how attuned he was to the experiences of his congregation, how enamored he was of the beauty of the countryside or seashore, and how thoroughly imbued he was with the letter and the spirit of the Scriptures.
Friend of John Chrysostom and pupil of Diodore of Tarsus, the founder of the method of exegesis practiced in Antioch, Theodore was appointed bishop of Mopsuestia in Cilicia in 392. His pedigree thus seems impeccable, as was his early reputation as a commentator on the Bible, which earned him the sobriquet ""The Interpreter."" More than one modern scholar has been prepared to class Theodore as ""the foremost exponent of Antiochene exegesis."" Yet not long after his death in 428--coincidentally, but significantly, the year Nestorius acceded to the see of Constantinople--Theodore became the object of intemperate criticism by the likes of Cyril of Alexandria for his Christological views. His works were condemned by the fifth ecumenical council of 553, and only the Commentary on the Twelve Prophets, here appearing in English for the first time, survives entirely in Greek. Does Theodore deserve either or both of these extreme assessments? Why did his adversaries allow this one work to survive the flames untouched? Is it because, as has been said in facile repetition, ""it contains nothing of Christological import""? The truth emerging from a reading of the Commentary is that both views are wide of the mark. Theodore does not entertain a Christological interpretation of verse after verse in the manner of his Alexandrian contemporary Didymus, but he situates these twelve prophetic figures from the eighth to the sixth century of Israel's history within an overall Christological perspective. True to his school's accent on historia, however, he prefers to look for a factual basis to their prophecy (a problem in the case of Jonah), is less sensitive to the moving imagery of a Hosea or a Micah than modern readers would appreciate, and is unfamiliar with the genre of apocalyptic, which appears especially in Joel and Zechariah. Theodoret of Cyrus in the decades after Theodore's death had his works open before him as he commented on prophets, just as modern commentators will also appreciate his work.
This second volumes of the Mediaeval Continuation contains Letters 31-60 of Peter Damian. While his epistolary style is varied--exhortatory, occasional, pastoral, reforming--his message is singular and simple in urging strict adherence to the canons of the Church. Letters 31 and 40 are long treatises, each published separately in critical editions. Letter 31, also known as the Book of Gomorrah, deplores the degradation of the priesthood through the vice of sodomy and appeals to Pope Leo IX to educate and purge the clergy. Letter 40, perhaps his most celebrated work, is also called the Liber gratissimus. In it Peter Damian opposes the reordination of those ordained simonists but writes that simonists are ""worthy of the supreme punishment that befits the incorrigible."" The very early reference to the ""heart of Jesus"" which is found in this letter was anticipated only by the Venerable Bede. Among the more personal letters are 55 and 57. In the former he writes of a long, debilitating illness, so serious that funeral preparations had been made, and of his immediate recovery when his brethren gave food to one hundred poor people. In the latter, he begs to be relieved of the administration of the diocese of Gubbio because of ill health, so that he may return to Fonte Avellana and his ""beloved solitude."" He also makes many references to folkloric tales and, perhaps, the earliest reference to the game of chess in Western literature. Letter 58 to Henry the archbishop of Ravenna in 1058 is the best example in the collection of Peter Damian's political and ecclesiastical influence. In it he gives his opinion of Benedict X and Nicholas II, the two candidates for the Apostolic See. He makes no effort to conceal his strong opinions but rather requests that this letter be made public so that all may learn what he has thought about the subject. This is perhaps, after all, what he would have hoped for the entire collection.
Peter Damian (1007-1072), an eleventh-century monk and man of letters, left a large and significant body of correspondence. Over one hundred and eighty letters have been preserved, principally from Damian's own monastery of Fonte Avellana. Ranging in length from short memoranda to longer monographs, the letters provide a contemporary account of many of the controversies of the eleventh century: purgatory, the Eucharist, clerical marriage and celibacy, immorality, and others. Peter Damian, or ""Peter the Sinner"" as he often referred to himself, was one of the most learned men of his day, and his letters are filled with both erudition and zeal for reform. This third volume of The Letters of Peter Damian is a careful, fluent, and annotated translation of Letters 61-90. These letters reveal the author's concern with the contemporary need for reforms, centering on clerical, especially episcopal, celibacy and on the ""heresy"" of simony which involved the purchase of ecclesiastical offices. In Letter 89, for example, Damian addresses the Selvismatic attempt of antipope Honorius II (Cadalus of Parma) to circumvent the election of Alexander II by the newly organized college of cardinal bishops. Also, among the letters here presented are several of a highly spiritual, even mystical content. These letters demonstrate that this active reformer was at heart a solitary soul who, when away from home, longed for his ""beloved solitude,"" where he could practice the contemplative life. Eventually, Damian grew weary of his efforts at reform and asked to be retired from his office of cardinal bishop of Ostia. Because Damian's Latin was a living language that surpasses the ability of classical Latin lexicography to cope with it, all disciplines that make use of medieval thought will welcome this English translation. Owen J. Blum's thorough notes to each letter indicate the vocabulary problems he encountered and how they were resolved. This third volume, like its companions, uses Damian's thought to understand an important and gripping period in the history of church and state. With these intimate revelations into his character and motivation, readers may more readily appreciate Damian's total dedication to his mission.
Abbo of Fleury was a prominent churchman of late tenth-century France--abbot of a major monastery, leader in the revival of learning in France and England, and the subject of a serious work of hagiography. Elizabeth Dachowski's study presents a coherent picture of this multifaceted man with an emphasis on his political alliances and the political considerations that colored his earliest biographical treatment. Unlike previous studies, Dachowski's book examines the entire career of Abbo, not just his role as abbot of Fleury. When viewed as a whole, Abbo's life demonstrates his devotion to the cause of pressing for monastic prerogatives in a climate of political change. Abbo's career vividly illustrates how the early Capetian kings and the French monastic communities began the symbiotic relationship that replaced the earlier Carolingian models. Despite a stormy beginning, Abbo had, by the time of his death, developed a mutually beneficial working relationship with the Capetian kings and had used papal prerogatives to give the abbey of Fleury a preeminent place among reformed monasteries of northern France. Thus, the monks of Fleury had strong incentives for portraying the early years of Abbo's abbacy as relatively free from conflict with the monarchy. Previous lives of Abbo have largely followed the view put forward by his first biographer, Aimoinus of Fleury, who wrote the Vita sancti Abbonis within a decade of Abbo's death. While Aimoinus clearly understood Abbo's goals and the importance of his accomplishment, he also had several other agendas, including a glossing over of earlier and later conflicts at Fleury and validation of an even closer (and more subservient) relationship with the Capetian monarchs under Abbo's successor, Gaulzin of Fleury. Abbo's achievements set the stage for the continuing prosperity and influence of Fleury but at the expense of Fleury's independence from the monarchy. With Abbo's death, the monastery's relationship with the French crown grew even closer, though Fleury continued to maintain its independence from the episcopacy.
Peter Damian (1007-1072), an eleventh-century monk and man of letters, left a large and significant body of correspondence. Over one hundred and eighty letters have been preserved, principally from Damian's own monastery of Fonte Avellana. Ranging in length from short memoranda to longer monographs, the letters provide a contemporary account of many of the controversies of the eleventh century: purgatory, the Eucharist, clerical marriage and celibacy, immorality, and others. Peter Damian, or ""Peter the Sinner"" as he often referred to himself, was one of the most learned men of his day, and his letters are filled with both erudition and zeal for reform. This first volume contains the first thirty letters, and covers the period before 1049. Here we see Peter Damian as an untiring preacher and uncompromising reformer, both of the monastic world and of the church at large. He attacks clerical laxity and monastic decadence in letter after letter. The first letter in the collection is of particular interest, containing a theological consideration of the Christian position against the Jews. Other important letters in this first volume are Damian's allegorical interpretation of the Divine Office, his letters on the Last Days and the Judgment, on canonical and legal points (such as the prohibited degrees of consanguinity in marriage), and on liturgical matters (particularly in monastic observance).
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