In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

76BOOK REVIEWS The World of Catholic Renewal, 1540-1700. By R. PoChia Hsia. (New York: Cambridge University Press. 1998. Pp. xi, 240. $54.95 cloth; $16.95 paperback .) A new textbook on Catholic Reform and renewal is long overdue; the standard , The Counter Reformation by A. G. Dickens, was published in 1968 and has never been revised. Hsia's World of Catholic Renewal seeks to fill the gap left by three decades of research. While not flawless in its achievements, this book is well done and very welcome. Hsia focuses on traditional aspects as well as newer interpretations: the Council ofTrent, religious orders, Spain, Philip II, reforming bishops, and saints and martyrs. The bibliographical essay is of great value, critically noting both old standards and new publications. Hsia gives pride of place to the Jesuits in both renewal and revival, but gives due coverage to other new and reformed orders , particularly Capuchins. This book is best when it focuses on more recent historiographical concerns. Hsia has benefited from the work of Louis Chatellier on missions in Europe,Jodi Bilinkoff on Teresa ofAvila, and Peter Burke on early modern sainthood. The long sections on Poland and Ireland go far to redress the neglect of those areas in more general studies. The chapter on art and architecture smoothly fits into the whole; a supplementary chapter on music would have been appreciated. He gives equal time to missions in the East and West, deftly dealing with the enormous spectrum of issues in Spain, Portugal, and the empires. In the context of general praise, I have a few specific criticisms. I took exception to the statement, "For many bishops, Jesuit colleges served as substitutes for the diocesan seminaries" (p. 33). This was not true in Italy, and Hsia does not give geographical information to understand the claim better. TheJesuits did not succeed in keeping themselves separate from diocesan seminaries (as the General Congregations advised), but I know of no bishop who ordered secular clergy to attendJesuit colleges—or even diocesan seminaries—for pastoral training. In some areas, seminarians took classes at colleges of religious orders (not just Jesuits), but still attended diocesan institutions for other studies, including music. On another subject, Hsia sometimes refers to Carlo Borromeo as the model bishop (p. 106) and sometimes assigns that role to another, e.g., Gabriele Paleotti (p. 103). His extended discussion on sainthood omits Vincent de Paul and his faithful correspondent, Louise de Marillac, who is absent from the discussion on female religious. I hoped for a more detailed focus on printing and censorship; these topics are only briefly and narrowly addressed (e.g., printing in the context of the Bollandistes) and neither appears in the book's index. Specialists in Catholic Reform may be nonplussed by the late beginning date. The fifteenth-century roots of the reform movement are widely accepted; yet Hsia began in 1540. The explanation for this must lie in two ofthe book's major claims: first, that the Society ofJesus is central to Catholic renewal, and second, that "renewal" refers both to Catholic Reform and Counter-Reform. Without BOOK REVIEWS77 disputing either claim, I still regret the lateness of the terminus. Early attempts at reform are neglected—the work of Philip Neri and the (in)famous Consilium , for example—and despite Hsia's other work to the contrary (e.g., not reducing the early modern Catholic Church to the Inquisition), a sense of Counter-Reformation is in danger of dominating. On the other hand, I was pleased to note the extent of Catholic renewal into the eighteenth century. On balance, I would recommend this textbook, provided it were supplemented by a work which focuses on the early stages of reform. In this way historians can finally lay Dickens' work to rest. Kathleen M. Comerford Benedictine College Atchison, Kansas Religion and Culture in Early Modern Russia and Ukraine. Edited by Samuel H. Baron and Nancy Shields Kollmann. (DeKaIb: Northern Illinois University Press. 1997. Pp. viii, 213. $35.00.) This collection of essays, drawn from a conference held at Stanford University in 1993, purports to address the failure of modern historians to grasp the significance ofthe Russian Church in modern times.With enviable...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 76-77
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.