Los Carmelitas: Historia de la Orden del Carmen. VI: Figuras del Carmeloby Ismael Martínez Carretero, O.Carm. (review)
- The Catholic Historical Review
- The Catholic University of America Press
- Volume 84, Number 4, October 1998
- pp. 712-713
- View Citation
- Additional Information
712BOOK REVIEWS tory meticulously describes the church's acquisition of liturgical artifacts and art, in an attempt to illustrate the high quality of la Peña's religious life. He also pays homage to the clerics important in the history of the church. The second—and most useful—part of the book examines the church's art, architecture, sculpture, liturgical manuscripts, and ecclesiastical artifacts. The church is romanesque, dating to the twelfth and thirteenth centuries; its altar constitutes one of the highlights of la Peña's art works. The camarín, the chamber of the Virgin and the storeplace for her jewels and other possessions, was finished in 1692, part of the Baroque additions to the original church. The art and architecture of la Peña is carefully placed in historical context. Sober judgments , for example, are offered on how la Peña's romanesque capitals suggest Aragonese influence, and how the construction of the camarín reflects the overall development of these structures in Spain. Also of interest is the discussion of the various masters, such as silversmiths, who contributed to la Peña's holdings. The book's dedication to the Virgin of la Peña reflects its heartfelt and popular approach. Its extensive description of la Peña's architecture, art, and artifacts , supplemented by documentary appendices, should make it a useful reference tool for scholars interested in the rich artistic heritage of the Castilian church, especially in the early modern period. Clay Stalls University ofCalifornia at LosAngeles Los Carmelitas:Historia de la Orden del Carmen. VL:Figuras del Carmelo. By Ismael Martínez Carretero, O.Carm. (Madrid: Biblioteca de Autores Cristianos. 1996. Pp. Ii, 548. 3,365 ptas.) This volume appears as an addition and culmination to the Spanish translation of The Carmelites: A History of the Brothers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (4 volumes in 5; Darien, Illinois: Carmelite Spiritual Center, 1975-1985, with a new edition of volume 1 in 1988). The English original is by the American Carmelite Joachim F. Smet, founder and for many years director of the Institutum Carmelitanum, Rome, Italy. Smet's history should be much better known by historians than it is. The failure of recognition arises, not from any lack of reliable scholarship, but from its being an in-house publication by American Carmelites. Volume IV of Los Carmelitas is a history of Carmel in Spain, 1260-1980, by Balbino Velasco Bayón. (See review of Bayón's volume in this journal awte,LXXXI [October, 1995], 611-613). Father Ismael Martinez's addition to Smet's history is a "gallery" of significant figures from the Carmelite families, Discalced and Ancient Observance, as well as of lay Carmelites. The prominence of Teresa of Avila,John of the Cross, and Thérèse of Lisieux, saints and doctors of the Church, has obscured Carmel's BOOK REVIEWS713 other saints, blesseds, and charismatic figures. Martinez's work which amends this imbalance is not outdated hagiography but presents the lives of the saints of Carmel by way of a critical methodology and in a modern theological context . The result is a clear signal that it is more than time that a like collection be undertaken in English. The many "saints" of Carmel deserve to be known more widely than is presently the case. Much of the scholarly work that made Martinez's volume possible first appeared in Santi del Carmelo: Biografié da vari Dizionari, edited by Ludovico Saggi, O.Carm. (Rome: Institutum Carmelitanum . 1972; 403 pp.) An abridged version of Saggi's work appeared as Saints of Carmel, translated by Gabriel Pausback, O.Carm. (Rome: Carmelite Institute, 1972; 356 pp.). The Italian original has received little attention in English-speaking countries, and the abridged volume seems hardly to be have been noticed. Martinez has divided his work into five parts: I: The Primitive Saints of Carmel,The Great Reformers ofthe Fifteenth Century; II: (Saints) In the Heart of the Church; III: Spiritual Masters; IV:The GreatWitnesses of Carmel;The Martyrs of the Spanish Civil War,Witnesses of Human Values; Exceptional Figures of the Twentieth Century (Titus Brandsma and Edith Stein); V: Those Who Have Read the Signs of the...