In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

100BOOK REVIEWS knowledge should turn first to James McConica's little volume in the "Past Masters " series (Oxford University Press) or to Cornells Augustijn's biography (EngUsh translation from the University ofToronto Press). James M. Estes Victoria College, University ofToronto The Venetian Upper Clery in the 16'b and Early 17'" Centuries:A Study in Religious Culture. By Oliver Logan. [Texts and Studies in ReUgion,Volume 68.] (Lewiston, NewYork:The Edwin Mellen Press. 1996. Pp. x, 608. $ 129.95.) OUver Logan has long contributed to the study of Venetian culture in the early modern period. In this work he presents the results of his research on the religious culture of eUte clergy in Venice in the late Renaissance. He studies the works of sixteen authors of reUgious treatises and sermons. As unified as their place of origin and their commitment to Venetian pubUc life was, these writers do not present a religious view that is easUy identifiable. Among the writers included in the study are Pietro Barozzi (1441-1507), bishop of BeUuno and Padua; Gasparo Contarini (1483-1542); Alvise Lippomano (1504-1559), bishop of Verona and Bergamo; Daniele Bárbaro (1504-1559), Patriarch-Elect of AquUeia; Giovanni Tiepolo (1571-1631), Patriarch ofVenice; Francesco Giorgio (d. 1540), the Franciscan preacher and theologian ; and Paolo Sarpi, the Servite canonist and historian. Beyond sharing a common concern for the renewal of the pastoral activity of bishops, they worked in diverse genres and with different theological and poUtical viewpoints . For Logan this diversity presents both a problem and a large part of his conclusion. He argues that faced with putting aU of this in order, diversity itsetf became a "crucial problem for analysis" (p. ix).The writers represented an "exploding galaxy" ofreligious thought.At some point.he states,"that galaxy began to implode, to turn inwards on itsetf and seemed to be converging towards the black hole of integrism and monoUthicity" (p. ix). Logan's individual treatment of the writers offers the benefit of aUowing for an independent analysis of the rhetoric, philosophical presuppositions, pastoral values, and culture of the writers . Nevertheless, the very diversity that he emphasized in these writers seems to overwhelm any attempt to synthesize their outlook. Only in the concluding chapter does Logan offer some generalizations about this pastoral eUte. First, he observes that they conform in certain respects to the rhetorical traditions of Venetian humanism generaUy: a preference for the genus humile. Logan identifies this genus humile as representing the "cultivation of systematic or moral phUosophy" as well as a simple style (p. 519). Second , Logan identifies as a major characteristic of his authors their adherence to AristoteUan analytical speech and their rejection of metaphor, an attitude that may have been encouraged by the Aristotelian tradition at F^dua.Third,concern for the proper duties of a bishop is a major theme in these writings. Contarini's BOOK REVIEWS101 contributions in this field are only part of a broader tradition among these Venetian authors. Logan argues that what is particularlyVenetian in their views on the duties of a bishop is their tendency to see episcopal office in terms of state service within theVenetian Empire.These writers were aU, in one respect or another, servants of the Venetian state. Logan admits, nevertheless, that he has "abandoned the attempt to define a distinctive tradition ofVenetian reUgious thought" (p. 514).That is because he sees the diversity in these writers as representative ofRenaissance CathoUcism. He recognizes that this rich diversity was eliminated when the "exploding universe " of reUgious thought began to implode. Logan does not date this "implosion " to the Counter-Reformation, as many of his writers are from that period. Rather, he argues that the loss of individuaUty in the culture of the upper clergy Ln Italy was the result of the reaction of the Church to the events of the French Revolution and the estabUshment of a Liberal state in Italy in the nineteenth century. In response to those perceived threats, he argues, the Church closed ranks and demanded greater uniformity of its personnel. Although his documentation does not seem to offer material for the discussion of nineteenthcentury ItaUan history, Logan has shown the diversity of the early modern clergy...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 100-101
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.