Remembered as the official who failed to keep Luther in the Catholic fold, Tommaso de Vio, Cardinal Cajetan (1469-1534) was a multi-faceted figure whose significance extends beyond those days in Augsburg. In the 1520s, he embarked on a labour of biblical commentary that occupied the final decade of his life, producing over a million words of translation and commentary. Offering an overview of this remarkable body of work, Michael O’Connor argues that Cajetan’s motive was the renewal of Christian living (more ‘Catholic Reform’ than ‘Counter-Reformation’), and that his method was a bold and fresh hybrid of scholasticism and Renaissance humanism, correcting the Vulgate’s errors and expounding the text almost exclusively according to the literal sense.
Michael O’Connor, D.Phil. (Oxford), is a Senior Lecturer at St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto.
“This is a most welcome contribution to rediscover the forgotten world of Catholic Biblical and (Thomistic) humanism.”
Ulrich Lehner, Marquette University, The Regensburg Forum, July 2017.
“O’Connor’s study is a first-class addition to the canon of Cajetan scholarship, and a very worthy inclusion in the St Andrews Studies in Reformation History series. […] O’Connor has put us all in his debt for a stimulating study with nuggets to be discovered on almost on every page.”
David Bagchi, University of Hull. In: The Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Vol. 70, No. 1 (January 2019), pp. 172-173.
“This book is a very welcome addition to our knowledge of religious scholarship in the Renaissance.”
Paul F. Grendler, University of Toronto Emeritus. In: Renaissance and Reformation, Vol. 41, No. 4 (Fall 2018), pp. 263-266.
Chronology of selected works
PART I BIBLICAL REFORM FROM PRINCIPLE TO PROJECT
1 Friar, professor, papal courtier (1469–1512)
2 Prelate, diplomat, biblical scholar (1513–34)
PART II MOTIVE
3 The Bible and reform
4 Error, schism, and heresy
PART III METHOD
5 Correcting the Latin text
6 Cajetan’s literal sense: words, context, style
7 Cajetan’s literal sense: the harmony and sufficiency of scripture
8 ‘Applauded neither by heretics nor by Catholics’
Index of Bible references
All interested in Renaissance humanism, theological debate, and scholasticism in the early modern period, and anyone concerned with the history of biblical exegesis in general.