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Dante’s Prayerful Pilgrimage

Typologies of Prayer in the Comedy

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Alessandro Vettori

In Dante’s Prayerful Pilgrimage Alessandro Vettori provides a comprehensive analysis of prayer in Dante’s Commedia. The underlying thesis considers prayer a metaphorical pilgrimage toward a sacred location and connects it with the pilgrim’s ascent to the vision of the Trinity. Prayer is movement in Purgatorio and also in Paradiso, while eternal stasis is the penalty of blasphemous souls in Inferno. In the fictional rendition of the poem, the pilgrim’s itinerary becomes a specular reflection of Dante’s own exilic experience. Prayer’s human-divine interaction affords the poet the necessary escape from the overwhelming sense of failure in politics and love. Whether it is petitional, liturgical, thankful, praiseful, or contemplative, prayer expresses the supplicant’s wish to transform reality and attain a superior spiritual status.
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Edited by Adrian Guiu and Stephen Lahey

John Scottus Eriugena (d. ca. 877) is regarded as the most important philosopher and theologian in the Latin West from the death of Boethius until the thirteenth century. He incorporated his understanding of Latin sources, Ambrose, Augustine, Boethius and Greek sources, including the Cappadocian Fathers, Pseudo-Dionysius, and Maximus Confessor, into a complex metaphysics, from which he developed Christian Neoplatonist theology that continues to stimulate 21st century theologians. This collection of essays provides an overview of the latest scholarship on various aspects of Eriugena's thought and writings, including his Irish background, his use of Greek theologians, his Scripture hermeneutics, his understanding of Aristotelian logic, Christology, and the impact he had on contemporary and later theological traditions.

Contributors include: David Albertson, Joel Barstad, John Contreni, Christophe Erismann, John Gavin, Adrian Guiu, Michael Harrington, Catherine Kavanagh, A. Kijewska, Stephen Lahey, Bernard McGinn, Ernesto Sergio Mainoldi, Dermot Moran, Giulio D’Onofrio, Willemien Otten, Elena Lloyd-Sidle, and Alfred Siewers.
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Erzählte Bewegung

Narrationsstrategien und Funktionsweisen lateinischer Pilgertexte (4.-15. Jahrhundert)

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Susanna Fischer

In Erzählte Bewegung. Narrationsstrategien und Funktionsweisen lateinischer Pilgertexte (4.-15. Jahrhundert), Susanna Fischer analyzes the function and structure of the genre of pilgrimage narratives from a literary point of view.
The first part of the book is devoted to theoretical reflections and a systematic analysis of characteristic elements of pilgrimage narratives. Interpreting the texts from a narrative perspective, she focuses not only on formal characteristics but also on narrative structures and thus takes a closer look at the poetics of pilgrimage narratives. Through the detailed analysis of fourteen Latin texts about pilgrimage to the Holy Land from the 4th to the 15th century, she illustrates the development of a literary tradition with specific structural, stylistic and narrative characteristics.
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Hannah W. Matis

In The Song of Songs in the Early Middle Ages, Hannah W. Matis examines how the Song of Songs, the collection of Hebrew love poetry, was understood in the Latin West as an allegory of Christ and the church. This reading of the biblical text was passed down via the patristic tradition, established by the Venerable Bede, and promoted by the chief architects of the Carolingian reform. Throughout the ninth century, the Song of Songs became a text that Carolingian churchmen used to think about the nature of Christ and to conceptualize their own roles and duties within the church. This study examines the many different ways that the Song of Songs was read within its early medieval historical context.
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Robert Grosseteste and the 13th-Century Diocese of Lincoln

An English Bishop’s Pastoral Vision

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Philippa Hoskin

In this book Philippa Hoskin offers an account of the pastoral theory and practice of Robert Grosseteste, bishop of Lincoln 1235-1253, within his diocese. Grosseteste has been considered as an eminent medieval philosopher and theologian, and as a bishop focused on pastoral care, but there has been no attempt to consider how his scholarship influenced his pastoral practice.
Making use of Grosseteste’s own writings – philosophical and theological as well as pastoral and administrative – Hoskin demonstrates how Grosseteste’s famous interventions in his diocese grew from his own theory of personal obligation in pastoral care as well as how his personal involvement in his diocese could threaten well-developed clerical and lay networks.

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Rethinking Anselm's Arguments

A Vindication of his Proof of the Existence of God

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Richard Campbell

This book re-examines Anselm’s famous arguments for the existence of God in his Proslogion, and in his Reply. It demonstrates how he validly deduces from plausible premises that God so truly exists that He could not be thought not to exist. Most commentators, ancient and modern, wrongly located his argument in a passage which is not about God at all. It becomes evident that, consequently, much contemporary criticism is based on misreading and misunderstanding his text. It reconstructs his reasoning through three distinct but logically connected stages. It shows that, even if Anselm’s crucial premises are sceptically interpreted, his conclusions still follow. Properly understood, this argument is not vulnerable to the standard criticisms, including Gaunilo’s ‘Lost island’ counter-example.
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Shay Eshel

In The Concept of the Elect Nation in Byzantium, Shay Eshel shows how the Old Testament model of the ancient Israelites was a prominent factor in the evolution of Roman-Byzantine national awareness between the 7th and 13th centuries. The Byzantines' interpretation of the 7th century epic events as manifestations of God's wrath enabled them to incorporate the events into a paradigm which they now embraced: the Old Testament paradigm of the Israelite Elect Nation's complex relationship with God, a cyclic relation of sin, wrath, punishment, repentance and salvation. The Elect Nation concept enabled the Byzantines to express the shift in their collective identity toward a shrunken, yet more clearly defined, national awareness.
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Antonie Vos

In this volume, Antonie Vos offers a comprehensive analysis of the philosophy and theological thought of John Duns Scotus. First, a summary is given of the life and times of John Duns Scotus: his background and years in Oxford (12-80-1301), his time in Paris and Cologne (1308-1309) and his year in exile in Oxford and Cambridge (1303-1304). From there on, Scotus' Trinitarian theology and Christology are introduced. Duns not only embraced the doctrine of the Trinity, he also proved that God must be Trinitarian by connecting the first Person with knowledge to the second One with will. Further insights of Scotus' are discussed, such as the theory of Creation, ethics, justification and predestination, and the sacraments. The volume concludes with an overview of historical dilemmas in Scotus' theological thought.




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Matthias Riedl

Joachim of Fiore (c.1135-1202) remains one of the most fascinating and enigmatic figures of medieval Christianity. In his own time, he was an influential advisor to the mighty and powerful, widely respected for his prophetic exegesis and decoding of the apocalypse. In modern times, many thinkers, from Thomas Müntzer to Friedrich Engels, have hailed him as a prophet of progress and revolution. Even present-day theologians, philosophers and novelists were inspired by Joachim’s vision of a Third Age of the Holy Spirit.

However, at no time was Joachim an uncontroversial figure. Soon after his death, the church authorities became suspicious about the explosive potential of his theology, while more recently historians held him accountable for the fateful progressivism of Western Civilization.

Contributors are: Frances Andrews, Valeria De Fraja, Alfredo Gatto, Peter Gemeinhardt, Sven Grosse, Massimo Iiritano, Bernard McGinn, Matthias Riedl, and Brett Edward Whalen.

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Edited by Fr. Hugh Feiss and Juliet Mousseau

Bringing together the research of several eminent scholars, A Companion to the Abbey of Saint Victor in Paris seeks to provide a deep introduction to the significance, scope, and reach of the abbey’s influence in the twelfth century and beyond. Sixteen chapters introduce the history of the abbey from its beginnings through the reception of its major writings. Chapters are grouped in the areas of the life and ministry of Victorine canons, the abbey’s contributions to biblical exegesis, sacramental and theological teachings, and the Victorine understanding of Christian life and prayer. Such a thorough introduction to the Abbey of Saint Victor has never before been published.

Contributors are: David Albertson, Rainer Berndt, Boyd Taylor Coolman, Marshall Crossnoe, Torsten K. Edstam, Christopher P. Evans, Margot E. Fassler, Hugh Feiss, Karin Ganss, Franklin T. Harkins, Donna R. Hawk-Reinhard, C. Stephen Jaeger, Juliet Mousseau, Dominique Poirel, Patrice Sicard, and Frans van Liere.