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Reviewed by:
  • Dizionario degli Istituti di Perfezione
  • Robert I. Burns
Dizionario degli Istituti di Perfezione. Edited by Guerrino Pelliccia and Giancarlo Rocca. Vol. X: “Via-Zwijsen.” (Rome: Edizioni Paoline. 2003. Pp. xxv, 1682; 6 colored plates.)

This is the last volume in the monumental encyclopedia of monasticism projected in the wake of Vatican Council II and issued regularly since 1974. Presumably there will be supplementary update volumes. As before, the work incorporates book and booklet-length treatises, historical in focus but not neglecting theological, legal, psychological, and sociological attention. Taking monasticism [End Page 299] in its widest scope, it include¡s lay movements, non-Christian expressions, traditional orders and congregations, formative concepts, and many roads less traveled.

From vows (twenty columns), to daily life (one hundred columns on vita quotidiana), from vocation (fifty-eight columns) to Vincent de Paul and to Visitandines (forty columns), down to Islamic waqf, Hindu vishnu, and Buddhist Zen, the volume does not neglect Voltaire (four columns), the Protestant community at Villemétrie, or the Orthodox Greek custom of xerophagia. Vita alone has many lengthy entries (as with apostolica, attiva, contemplativa, comune, consacrata, and mista). Many of the studies are multi-authored; all are comprehensive and professional, with appropriate bibliographical essays. Two extensive appendixes of some hundred columns each update respectively the history of women religious and current statistics for religious groups worldwide. A general analytical index of 545 columns closes the work.

The DIP will continue to hold its unique position in the armory of research tools into the foreseeable future, indispensable for every variety of specialist.

Robert I. Burns
University of California, Los Angeles


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pp. 299-300
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