The large number of extant documents concerning the early thirteenth-century Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Albert degli Avogadri (c. 1150-1214), demonstrate both his impact on his times and the ways in which his life was shaped by his historical circumstances. Among the documents that were written or co-written by him were those that established, or sanctioned, the normative way of life of three particular groups within the Church of his time: the canons of Biella, in the county of Vercelli, the first (clerical), second (Religious), and third (lay) orders of the Humiliati, and the Latin hermits who became known later as the Carmelites. It is primarily because of his foundational influence on the Carmelites that Albert is remembered today but, together, the surviving documents reveal Albert’s different fields of expertise, his adroit handling of his ecclesiastical responsibilities and the historical circumstances that shaped both his early development and later life. Introducing the reader to the relevant features of the feudal period in which he lived, and to the complex social forces that shaped that age, this documentary biography traces his engagement with the society and Church of his time as a canon regular and Prior of the Holy Cross of Mortara, as Bishop of Vercelli, and as Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem. Divided into two volumes, each of twelve chapters, the first section deals with the period before Albert’s appointment as Bishop of Vercelli in 1185 in two chapters. The three chapters of section two describe the first period of Albert’s ministry as Bishop of Vercelli, 1185-91. In five chapters, the third section presents the second period of Albert’s time in Vercelli, 1191-97, under Pope Celestine III. Section four outlines, in eight chapters, the final period of Albert’s episcopal ministry in Vercelli, 1197-1205, under Pope Innocent III. Albert’s ministry as Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem under Pope Innocent III is the subject of the six chapters of section five. Focusing on his roles as mediator and judge in the resolution of conflict and his commitment to reform, the conclusion tries to identify the principal influences and values that shaped Albert’s life.
Podemos decir que nuestra RegIa no solamente admite, sino que reclama nuevas Iecturas de acuerdo a los diversos perfodos historicos, a las nuevas sensibilidades y acentos, a los “signos de los tiempos”, buscando esa “fidelidad creativa” que hace de la Regia un texto venerable, una referencia esenciaJ y basica y, al mismo tiempo, un texto significativo para el carmelita del siglo XXI. Este libro, que recoge las ponencias presentadas en un Congreso celebrado en Lisieux en julio de 2005, supone un verdadero avance en el conocimiento de nuestra RegIa y en sus muchas posi bilidades.
Fernando Millan Romeral
The Rule of CarmeJ continues today to inspire thousands of men and women around the world and throughout the Church in their Jives of allegiance to Jesus Christ even has it has inspired Carmelites over the centuries. This collection of papers by some of the best scholars in the Carmelite family is a landmark in our developing appreciation for this sacred text. The work of these men and women clearly demonstrates that the wisdom of Saint Albert of Jerusalem continues to speak in new times and new places of which those first hermits could never have dreamed. The Rule of Saint Albert is now ready to propel us into a future marked by all the glorious sanctity of our past eight centuries.
Patrick Thomas McMahon
Agli inizi del XIII secolo risaJe la prima Formula vitae consegnata da Alberto di Vercelli (1150-1214), per a1cuni anni anche Patriarca di GerusaJemme (1206-1214), ad un gruppo di eremiti latini dimoranti presso la “Fons Heliae” sui monte Carmelo. Da quel breve testo, e poi derivata Ia Regola del Carmelo, grazie all ‘intervento decisivo di ampliamento e di adattamento di papa lnnocenzo IV (1247). Da aHora quel testo ispiratore e giuridicamente vincolante per I ‘Ordine carmelitano e rimasto immutatoo Questo libro raccoglie gli studi presentati a Lisieux, in un Congresso intemazionale (4-8 luglio 2005) fra specialisti: i contributi vertono non solo sulla originalita della Vitae formula nella sua identita e nel suo contesto, rna anche offrono l’analisi della Wirkungsgeschichte (storia degli effetti) della Regola carmelitana lungo i secoIi. Storia e attualita, ermeneutiche antiche e riletture nuove vengono messe a confronto in una ricerca scientificamente seria e aperta a nuovi approcci culturali.
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