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Moreover, the Carmelite Rule has had many interpretations and readings. It is true that in recent decades, scientific studies have multiplied and we can assert without exaggeration, that today we know the Rule better than in any other period in our history. Nevertheless, because of that very richness, those multiple dimensions and readings (Biblical, canonical, spiritual, literary, prophetic and so on), because of the possibilities that the Rule contains for different ages, and above all because it is a living text that is still spoken of today, new perspectives and studies are always welcome.
For these reasons, then, we welcome in the heart of the Carmelite family this book on the Carmelite Rule prepared by Michelle M. Sauer and Kevin Alban. This is a collection of articles that from many diverse points of view can help us understand better the deep and metahistorical sense of our Rule. Suffice to look at the table of contents to have an idea of the wealth of this book and its interdisciplinary character. The origins of this work go back to the VII centenary of the Rule which was celebrated in 2007. To mark that event a series of meetings and conferences were organised and among them was a study day on the Rule during the International Medieval Congress which takes place every year in the university of Leeds in the UK. Seeing the quality of the different papers, a possible publication was planned which has only been realised now for various reasons. We are all glad that the outcome of that study day can now be published and distributed to a wider public in the whole world, thanks to Edizioni Carmelitane in Rome.
Tabel of contents
Foreword: Fernando Millán Romeral
Introduction: Kevin J. Alban and Michelle M. Sauer
Part I: Devotion & the Rule
Patrick Mullins O.Carm.: The Carmelite Rule: Text and Authors
Patrick T. McMahon O.Carm.: The Hermit Community on Mount Carmel, c. 1207 CE
Markus Schürer: Monks, Mendicants, or Hermits: Who Were the Medieval Carmelites?
Paul Chandler O.Carm.: The Rule in the Context of Carmelite Identity Formation: Risking Existence, Establishing Identity
Michelle M. Sauer: The Fifteenth-Century Carmelite Rule of St. Linus for Hermits: Contexts, Controversies, and Albertine Influences
Part II: Orthodoxy & Dissent in England
Kevin J. Alban O.Carm.: Fighting Lollardy with the Rule: Thomas Netter and the Doctrinale
Valerie Edden: Visual Images as a Way of Defining Identity: The Case of the Reconstructed Carmelite Missal
Naoë Kuki ta Yoshik awa: Margery Kempe and Felip Ribot’s “Liber de institutione primorum monachorum”
Tamás Karáth: Richard Misyn’s Transmission of Rollean Mysticism within and beyond the Carmelite Community
William Rogers: “Homo vanitati adsimilatus:” The Performance of Poverty and Payment in Richard Maidstone’s Penitential Psalms
The Rule of Saint Albert
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ill.-rstampa anastatica (aprile 2014). The book thus opens with a broad sweep covering the historical and religious environment of the eleventh to thirteenth centuries in 170 pages. It is not unlike that undertaken by, for example, Franco Dal Pino in his history of the Servites and indeed Mosca acknowledges his debt to him, though not to his work on the Servites (p.123, note 92). This chapter concentrates on juridical themes and on the founders and early rules closest to those of the Carmelites (p.140). This sort of synthesis is perhaps the most difficult form of history- writing, but the result is not very satisfactory. Much of it simply summarises the readily available work of others and Mosca constructs a deceptively simple and beguiling view of the medieval church. For example, the role of the papacy is modelled using normative texts without acknowledging the difficulties of implementation (on p.115 he records simply that the “verdict of the papal tribunal could substitute a government, or transfer its power,” as though this would not have been controversial). This section is also marked by an extraordinary absence of women, included only as an afterthought on pages 169-170.
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