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

BOOK reviews313 iconographical deconstruction of a 1464 gonfalone by Benedetto Bonfigli. Roberto Rusconi twice shows his unusual ability to combine the long, broad coverage helpful to this kind of venture with repeated thought-provoking insight and cheering example.Jean Guyon provides what seems to me a dense Uttle masterpiece in his essay on the first centuries of the Christian mission in Italy; and Grado Merlo in the first of his essays, on monastic reform and the vita apostólica, ties and evokes with accomplished mastery, as in his use of CamaldoU and VaUombrosa. GolinelU's relatively long essay on organizational structure and reUgious Ufe in the age of particularism is, especially in its first ten pages, fuU of crisp information and argument. Jean-Marie Martin confronts and analyzes the existence of and relations between Lombard, Greek, Islamic, and Norman, in the South, through the twelfth century. This book complements rather than replaces the long essays by Giovanni MiccoU and Jacques LeGoff in Einaudi's 1974 Storia d'Ltalia; it does not have the sustained magisterial gravity of the Miccoli essay or the continued witty insight of the LeGoff. It does have the advantages as weU as the disadvantages of many voices, of being in some senses dialogic. The voices sometimes refer to each other as does Barone to Vauchez (p. 372); they sometimes capture the valuable voices of other historians not included in the volume, as Vauchez does that of Mario Sensi (p. 471). There are repeated treats: from whom would any reader rather read a sharp half-paragraph on the significance of the cult of San Rocco than from André Vauchez (pp. 482-483)? This is a book (wrapped prettily in what the publishers assume is a Giotto fresco, from Assisi) that any reader concerned with medieval Italy or with the history ofreligions wiU want to have on his or her shelf; that reader will be aware of the book's necessary limitations. Robert Brentano University ofCalifornia, Berkeley Ordonner lafraternité. Pouvoir d'innover et retour à l'ordre dans l'Église ancienne . By Alexandre Faivre. (Paris: Les Éditions du Cerf. 1992. Pp. 555. 299E) This book by Alexandre Faivre is a coUection of essays and papers on the topic of church institutions and organization in the early centuries, after the apostoUc period and up to the end ofthe fifth century. Much ofthe material has to do with the critical period between 180 and 260, when the distinction between cleric and lay emerged and became standard, and the role of the episcopacy took the shape that in essence has prevaUed up to our time. On this same question of church organization, other essays include a survey of canonicoUturgical resources, the emergence of the notion of the rule of faith, the development of a synodal and concUiar procedure for dealing with problems, the clergy in the writings ofSaint Augustine,the place ofwomen in the Church, and the role oflay theologians. Due to the occasional nature ofthe pieces here gath- 314BOOK REVIEWS ered together there is a measure ofrepetition, but on a whole the work is a wellpresented and coherent unit. It is very clearly written. The care shown in the examination of the pertinent literature will no doubt recommend it to the historian , but the clarity of presentation makes its scholarly work readily accessible to the more general reader who wants to know more about the ways in which church institutions developed and took shape. There are several matters of interest for both historian and theologian. Faivre shows the divergence in the leadership and organization of churches up to the third century, and shows how the episcopal organization came to dominate. He also explains how the notions of cleric and lay, up to that point largely unknown , took firm hold in the third century. The factors in this development are examined, including the need for authority, the organization of offices into a state oflife, the remuneration ofthose devoted to the service ofthe Church, and most of aU the development of a cultic notion of Uturgy. As Faivre shows, the motivation for the kind of organization adopted and for the authority claimed by bishops was often practical and responded to the need for...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 313-314
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.