I tempi del Concilio. Religione, cultura e società nell'Europa tridentinaed. by Cesare Mozzarelli and Danilo Zardin (review)
- The Catholic Historical Review
- The Catholic University of America Press
- Volume 84, Number 4, October 1998
- pp. 772-773
- View Citation
- Additional Information
772BOOK REVIEWS The Book of Common Prayer and reading of printed homilies in a setting stripped bare of Catholic images, rituals, and sacramentáis. Among other influences , Dr. Litzenberger discounts the leadership of the bishops of Gloucester, which was feeble, the preaching of sermons by the clergy, who were mostly unlearned , and the leadership of the gentry, who were faction-ridden. Dr. Litzenberger's bottom-up approach to religious change is both refreshing and useful. However, considering how little progress distinctively Protestant ideas had made in Gloucester diocese by 1580, one could wish that the author had carried her study of the preambles of wills through to the end of the reign of Elizabeth. J. A. Froude was not the only historian who thought that England did not become Protestant in belief and culture until after 1588. Also, the thesis ofprotestantization by osmosis might carry more weight ifDr. Litzenberger had done a systematic study of the parochial clergy and also carried such a study down to the end of the reign. As it is, her evidence on the parish clergy, their lack of educational attainments, and the infrequency of preaching rests too much upon anecdote and stands in contrast to her very thorough, systematic, and persuasive study of the preambles of the last wills and testaments of Gloucestershire men and women. In other English dioceses, reforming bishops and Puritan patrons and magistrates had made considerable strides in improving the performances of parish clergy by the 1590's. Since the universities began to produce Protestant graduates of ability in sufficient numbers only in the 1570's, one can object that a reforming movement could hardly have made much headway by 1580, the terminal date of this book. Roger B. Manning Cleveland State University I tempi del Concilio. Religione, cultura e società nell'Europa tridentina. Edited by Cesare Mozzarelli and Danilo Zardin. ["Europa délie Corti": Centro studi sulle società di antico regime. Biblioteca del Cinquecento, 70.] (Rome: Bulzoni Editore. 1997. Pp. 491. Lire 60.000.) Nineteen essays, originally read as papers at a meeting in Trent in October, 1994, constitute this hefty volume dealing with religion, culture, and society in Europe during the second halfofthe sixteenth century. The length ofthe essays varies greatly: while most are printed conference papers, a few have been expanded into full articles. The majority of the contributions discuss specific aspects of the impact that the Council ofTrent had on Europe. Topics of individual essays range from examinations of how Tridentine decrees were applied to discussions of the council's effects on confraternities, models of sanctity, the ideal of the bishop, the Roman Inquisition, books on comportment, advice on the family, art, architecture, theater, and music. A number of the contributions remain fragments or drafts of what might become in- BOOK REVIEWS773 teresting longer pieces. However, most are well worth reading because of their sound scholarship and useful bibliographies. In my opinion, a few essays stand out and should be mentioned more specifically . By far the longest piece in the book is Agostino Borromeo's very useful "Italian Bishops and the Application of the Council of Trent."With his customary expertise, and on the basis of a survey of research of the last half-century, Borromeo concludes that Italian bishops were slower and less eager to apply Tridentine norms than older literature suggests. He focuses on episcopal residence (generally observed), the calling ofprovincial councils (progressively neglected ), diocesan synods (called pretty regularly by the majority of bishops), pastoral visitations (generally conducted, but at longer intervals than the council recommended), and establishment of seminaries (slow). A companion piece to the above is Gigliola Fragnito's "Bishops and Religious Orders in Italy after the Council." She discusses in greater detail the problem of episcopal power when confronted with the growing influence of Roman congregations in the internal affairs of the Church. Drawing on her vast knowledge of archival material documenting the working of the Congregations of the Index and Inquisition , she argues that the role of the bishops was diminished and that the "coercive apparatus" of the post-Tridentine Church was privileged at the expense of ordinaries and the education of the diocesan clergy, as envisioned by the council. Other...