From Ignatius Loyola to John of the Cross: Spirituality and Literature in Sixteenth-Century Spainby Terence O'Reilly (review)
- The Catholic Historical Review
- The Catholic University of America Press
- Volume 82, Number 4, October 1996
- pp. 712-713
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- Additional Information
712BOOK REVIEWS eschews aU footnotes. The book is leisurely written and reflective, given to conjectures and surmises, often repetitious and sometimes yields to psychologizing , but always interesting and engaging. Many a time this reader would have liked to know the source of the author's quotations; some were famUiar because they derive from Ignatius'writings,but what about diose from Unamuno, Hermann Hesse, Eric Fromm, Paul Claudel, etc.? References are given within the text to most quotations from Cervantes' Don Quixote, to whom the author frequently compares Ignatius. Since he is an historian, TeUechea admirably places Ignatius amid the events of his time, e.g., his ancestry and the description of the customs and terrain of Ignatius' and the author's native Basque region, the conflict in Navarre and the siege of Pamplona, the war between Spain and France, and the influence of the alumbrados and Erasmus in Spain. The book is a smooth and exceUent translation from the Spanish of the author 's second (1987) edition. (A thtfd edition appeared Ui 1990.) The translator is also credited as editor. The editing in this case was not in abridging the text but in expanding it: first names are given where the original has only surnames, and phrases are added throughout to identify individuals and to render the author 's meaning in a clearer manner. One change especiaUy gave me pause: the translator says that"it is certain" (p. 83) that Ignatius witnessed the ceremony of Charles I taking his oath ofoffice,while the Spanish has"con toda probabUidad" (p. 71). Of the EngUsh biographies of Ignatius pubUshed within the last decade, this is unquestionably the best. Joseph N.Tylenda, SJ. Woodstock Theological Center Library Georgetown University From Ignatius Loyola to John of the Cross: Spirituality and Literature in Sixteenth-Century Spain. ByTerence O'ReUly. [CoUected Studies Series, CS 484.] (Brookfield,Vermont:Variorum, Ashgate PubUshing Co. 1995. Pp. x, 271. $82.50.) Nine of the fifteen pieces In this coUection deal with Ignatius of Loyola. Of those nine, two deal expUcitly with Ignatius's attitude toward Erasmus, which has perplexed scholars for decades, and in a number of the other pieces in the book Erasmus returns as a firm point of reference. As O'ReUly correctly observes about the story that Ignatius disliked Erasmus's Enchiridion, ". . . although of minor importance in itself, it raises issues which affect the whole interpretation of Ignatius' Ufe" (II, 303)· O'Reiüy's treatment of it manifests his profound knowledge of so-caUed Spanish Erasmianism and his grasp of where Ignatius fits Ui relationship to it and to other currents of spirituaUty in Spain at book reviews713 the time. His conclusions are judicious, an important contribution toward revising the older view of the UreconcUabUity of these immensely influential contributors to the western tradition of spirituaUty. Two of the articles deal with Ignatius's relationship to Melchor Cano, the great Dominican theologian weU known for his antipathy toward the new Society ofJesus. One ofthem is a transcription ofa manuscript in the British Library of Cano's "censure" of the Society, intended for the eyes of the equaUy antagonistic Pope Paul IV Although the existence of this text has been known for some time, its pubUcation by O'ReUly makes it readUy avaUable, giving us firsthand Cano's negative reactions not only to the Society but even to Ignatius himself , whom he met in Rome Ui the early 1540's. Cano's assessment of Ignatius provides a dramatic contrast to the way the early Jesuits assessed him. (This transcription is the only piece Ui the volume not previously pubUshed by O'ReUly elsewhere.) In his "Melchor Cano and the SpirituaUty of St. Ignatius Loyola," the author shows how dtfferent were die assumptions of these two loyal CathoUcs in that stressful era. Four articles specificaUy treat the Spiritual Exercises, with particular attention to thetf relationship to the Exercitatorio de la Vida Spiritual ofAbbot Garcia de Cisneros. WhUe O'ReUly cannot prove specific dependencies, he correctly indicates broad paraUels between the two works diat would be difficult to explain apart from the influence of the Exercitatorio upon Ignatius. In summary, O'ReUly's studies of Ignatius contribute toward a...