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340book reviews gloriam"Alden has shown himseUto be an impartial historian. While acknowledging its shortcomings, the Society has earned the respect of this distinguished scholar, who states: "I bear no reUgious affiliation and hold no brief for or against theJesuits or any other religious body" (p. vUi). The Making ofan Enterprise concludes in 1750 when the Society was at a crossroads but with the prognosis far from good for the future of the Society. The second volume The Destruction of an Enterprise wiU show how weU grounded were apprehensions as to the continuing longevity of the Portuguese Assistancy. A.J. R. Russell-Wood TheJohns Hopkins University Il concilio di Trento e il moderno. Edited by Paolo Prodi and WoUgang Reinhard . [Annali deU'Istituto storico italo-germanico, Quaderno 45.] (Bologna: Società éditrice il Mulino. 1996. Fp. 575. Ore 58.000.) This volume presents the atti of a week of study and discussions held to celebrate the 450,h anniversary of the opening of the CouncU ofTrent. Twin introductions by the organizers (Paolo Prodi and WoUgang Reinhard) reveal the focus of meetings that week: the history of the Council against the backdrop of contemporary poUtics and law on one hand, and against the backdrop of modernizing reUgious persons and institutions on the other. In his introduction, Prodi explained that the organizers hoped to move forward the study of the long-range significance of the CouncU in relation to the birth of modern western political culture. From firm conviction that the old controversy concerning Reformation, Counter-Reformation, and Catholic Reform has been overcome, he argues nicely for a more complex picture of the CouncU and the forces behind it by pointing out the research—including his own—that Ulustrates the impact of the modern state upon the Church. It is no longer possible to maintain that the Council was a simple battle between reformers hoping to purify the Church and conservatives attempting to defend traditional ecclesiastical prerogatives against the reformers. Rapport between the papacy and other sovereigns aUowed the formation of an equilibrium, albeit one retaining areas of potential conflict, that was epitomized, for Prodi, in the distinction between doctrine and statements of positive law in concUiar decrees. Reinhard's essay on Trent and the modernization of the Church as a social institution begins with far less optimism, asserting that Catholics today still see that Council as either an assertion of authentic orthodoxy or as a ruinous victory of conservatism and reaction. He maintains that Trent was characterized by defensiveness and reaction to Protestantism whUe arguing that the Council still contributed to both the relative and the absolute modernization of the Church. The published results of the week of study Prodi and Reinhard envisioned should provide the grist for much discussion in graduate seminars on the political , social, and reUgious history of early-modern Europe. BOOK reviews341 What foUows in the volume are essays that, in the mam, present the state of current scholarship on a set of topics permitting reconsideration of the connection between the Council and emerging modernity. Some, like Konrad Repgen 's essay on the religious law ofthe Holy Roman Empire, Umberto Mazzone's on the bureaucratic structure of Trent, Peter Burschel's on the modernity of post-Tridentine models of sanctity, plus those by Volker Reinhardt and Carlo Poni on scientific thought in the era of Trent, do Uttle for me other than raise problems. Their suggestions concerning modern political, reUgious, and intellectual commitments demonstrate the reason for my lingering doubt about the very intent of the conference itseU. It is essentially an exercise in anachronism to attempt to identify modernity—or even the beginnings of it—in any earlier age. The real historical significance of Trent can be found through consideration ofthe Council's long-term history on its own,without struggling to find it either anticipating or stifling modernity. That is precisely what the vast majority of the other essays in this volume accomplish. They identify ambiguities and inconsistencies that riddled the discussions,decrees, and implementation process in the age of Trent. Adriano Prosperi and MUiam Turrini provided essays on confession that identify ambiguity Ui the real practice ofthe sacrament ofpenance. Giancarlo Angelozzi found the same when...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-0708
Print ISSN
0008-8080
Pages
pp. 340-342
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
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