Admonitio und Praedicatio. Zur religiös-pastoralen Dimension von Kapitularien und kapitulariennahen Texten (507-814)by Thomas Martin Buck (review)
- The Catholic Historical Review
- The Catholic University of America Press
- Volume 85, Number 1, January 1999
- pp. 67-68
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BOOK REVIEWS67 saints, especially that during the pontificate ofJohn Paul II. She also noted isolated twentieth-century examples in which young Catholic girls were instructed by clergy to guard their virginity in the same way that paralleled early medieval behavior. Schulenburg's twenty-four illustrations of early medieval nuns and female saints are captioned with sufficient detail that reference to all these illustrations was not needed in the text. The book's jacket cover in both front and back has colorful details of women saints whose likenesses were reproduced by the author herself in the opus anglicanum style of embroidery. The notes/bibliography are excellent and the University ofChicago Press is to be complimented for an exceptionally high quality of book publication. While the writing of this book was a long time in the making, Schulenburg could not have written Forgetful of Their Sex fifteen or even five years ago. In the past decade there has been an explosion of work published on medieval religious women. Schulenburg has benefited from this scholarship, but it can also be argued she has been a frequent contributor to it as well. Forgetful ofTheir Sex is a welcome addition to the field ofwomen's history in die Middle Ages. John A. Nichols Slippery Rock University Admonitio und Praedicatio. Zur religiös-pastoralen Dimension von Kapitularien und kapitulariennahen Texten (507-814). By Thomas Martin Buck. [Freiburger Beiträge zur mittelalterlichen Geschichte: Studien und Texte, Band 9] (New York: Peter Lang. 1997. Pp. xlv, 427. $76.95 paperback .) In this study, reflecting a thorough knowledge of the manuscript remains and of modern scholarship derived from his work on the new edition of the Frankish capitularies being prepared under the direction of Hubert Mordek, Thomas Martin Buck seeks to throw light on the religious-pastoral dimension of Frankish capitulary legislation from 507 to 814. In his view,the exploration ofthis neglected aspect of capitulary research will additionally reveal the value of these legal texts to scholars in disciplines other than history and jurisprudence. Buck devotes the first four chapters ofhis study to a discussion of challenges facing those seeking to interpret the capitularies. These problems stem from a variety of factors having to do with past scholarship, the nature of the capitulary genre, the methodologies utilized to decode their meaning, the circumstances surrounding their promulgation, and the impact on their content of a particular Herrschaftstheologie undergirding Frankish lawgiving which equated earthly rulership with enacting the will of God. A lengthy fifth chapter explores ways of dealing with these problems within the framework of a particular issue: the religious-pastoral dimensions of Frank- 68BOOK REVIEWS ish legislation. Buck's treatment unfolds along two interconnected tracks. The first part of his fifth chapter treats selected texts as examples: a capitulary as an order to pray (MGH, Capit. Nr. 21); a capitulary as an admonitio (MGH, Capit. Nr. 23); a capitulary as a sermon (MGH, Capit. Nr. 121). Each text is addressed in terms of manuscript remains, decisions made by previous editors, dating, the situation surrounding the promulgation of the text, authorship, intended audience , form and structure of the text, language, sources from which the content of the text is derived—all complex matters having major implications for textual interpretation. Buck then turns from an exemplarish to a systematisch methodology in which he examines in chronological order a series of enactments dating from the reign of Clovis to the death of Charlemagne in quest of information Ülurninating the intrusion of religious elements into legislative texts. His inquiry, stressing a methodological approach focused on clusters of interconnected texts rather than individual capitularies, reveals the progressive inclusion in capitulary texts of provisions positing knowledge of the true faith and its proper practice both liturgically and ethically as the foundation stones of an earthly order pleasing to God. These programmatic concepts in turn led to pragmatic directions cast in pastoral terms aimed at the correctio of those who did not know or had strayed from right belief and practice. Programmatically , religious-pastoral concepts found their most mature expression in Charlemagne 's reign, especially in the Admonitio generalis of 789 and the Capitulare missorum generale of 802—and perhaps in a non-capitulary entitled...