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714book reviews Right Thinking and Sacred Oratory in Counter-Reformation Rome. By FrederickJ . McGinness. (Princeton:Princeton University Press. 1995. Pp. xii, 337.) Professor McGinness has made a major contribution to our understanding of preaching Ln Rome during the Counter-Reformation and Tridentine spirituality more generaUy. In this beautifuUy written book, McGinness demonstrates with clarity and conciseness the dramatic changes that occurred in preaching by the mid-sixteenth century and iUustrates how profoundly this affected the image of the pope and the city of Rome. Rome itsetf, which had become a negative symbol to Protestants, now stood for reUgious rebirth and regeneration. The role of preaching was fundamental to this reconceptuaUzation, and positively shaped the directions and representations of the Church and papacy as it emerged into the modern 'world. RightThinking is a study of oratory in the papal court at Rome, not social history or popular culture, for these subjects have been examined elsewhere. This was a wise choice, for McGinness is able to show very clearly how what was preached on high was integral to the re-creation of the Church. In the immediate post-Reformation period, the goals were to repair the damage done to the Church by Protestant attacks. The later objectives and achievements were far more grand—the setting in place of a new and more splendid Church Triumphant . Rhetoric and eloquence, foUowing the Renaissance tradition in which these skiUs had been exalted in the service of civic virtue, were now used to promote "right thinking" in reUgious matters. The preachers and writers who glorified the new Rome insisted they were not innovating; rather, they were returning to the classical and Christian past in search of edifying and inspiring models suitable for conveying the highest truths of the Roman CathoUc faith. Preaching coram papa meant foUowing a set of rules that covered length farevity was now considered a great virtue), tone, gestures, and of course, content. Preachers who had in medieval times been content to concentrate on teaching (docere) increasingly turned their talents to the other main components of good preaching—to move (moveré) and to deUght (delectare). This naturaUy affected content. "In the first era . . . sermons preached before the popes document a mentalité that gives definition and specificity to the label 'Counter-Reformation' and shapes a seU-consciously Roman CathoUc identity for the faithful; in the second era, they adopt a direction that centers far more on celebration and sacred mystery" (p. 92). Ln the latter , the era of "right thinking," the good CathoUc was called upon to respond affectively "... in a loving surrender of the wiU ... to the Church in her teachings , traditions, and governance" (p. 113). The concern for order so frequently trumpeted after the sixteenth century is a central aspect ofthe new plan for the Church. The war cries of the early sixteenth century now give way to caUs for obedience and conformity. In the process, the pope is transformed from an embattled leader of the Roman Church to the "Uving image of divinity"—almost godlike in his embodiment ofreUgious truth. From this it was a short step to the celebration of Rome not for the glories of its pagan past but as the ideal image BOOK REVIEWS715 of". . . the one, cathoUc, apostolic, and above aU, holy center of the Church and the world" (p. 167). Right Thinking is a major contribution to our understanding of reUgious history in the post-Reformation period; precisely because of the manner in which preaching about the Church, papacy, and city was done, the words and deeds at the court of Peter resounded throughout the Christian world and changed the way CathoUcs beUeved and practiced. Larissa Taylor Colby College Konfession und internationales System. Die Außenpolitik Hessen-Kassels im konfessionellen Zeitalter. By Holger Thomas Graf. [QueUen und Forschungen zur hessischen Geschichte, 94.] (Darmstadt and Marburg: Selbstverlag der Hessischen Historischen Kommission Darmstadt und der Historischen Kommission für Hessen. 1993. Pp. xii, 422.) Hessen-Kassel c. 1555-c. 1648, in particular under landgraves William TV, Maurice , and WilUamV, serves as a case study of territorial foreign poUcy under confessional conditions. The author of this Ph.D. thesis combines E. O. Czempiel's and S. C. Flanagan's...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-0708
Print ISSN
0008-8080
Pages
pp. 714-715
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
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