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104BOOK REVIEWS Its title notwithstanding, Civic Agendas and Religious Passions neither explores in any detaU local understandings of civic identity and their impUcations for political obUgation, as HUary Bernstein has done so well for Poitiers,1 nor recreates Chalons' reUgious history, as so many studies of local reUgious Life have taught us how to do. One wishes that Konnert had spent more time in the archives before beginning to write. Phiup Benedict Brown University Tra Stato epapato: Conçût provincialipost-tridentini (1564-1648). By Pietro Caiazza. [ItaUa Sacra, Studi e document! di storia ecclesiastica, Vol. 49·] (Rome: Herder Editrice e Librería. 1992. Pp. xxx, 332. Lire 85.000 paperback .) In this book Pietro Caiazza deals with a subject that has not been studied in sufficient depth until now even though it represents a crucial theme for the history of the post-Tridentine Church, namely, that of the post-Tridentine provincial councUs. As is weU known, provincial councils represented an ancient institute, the origins of which date back to the first centuries of the Christian era.After falling into desuetude in the course of the Middle Ages, they were revived by the CouncU ofTrent. At the end of Session XXFV the conciliar fathers approved a canon in which it was decreed that within one year of the conclusion of the councU aU the metropolitan archbishops would be obliged to assemble Ln councU the bishops belonging to their respective ecclesiastical provinces.After this first assembly, provincial councils were to be regularly convoked every three years. In this institute the fathers gathered inTrent had decided to single out an instrument suitable for obtaining a general reception of the Tridentine decrees and a more detaUed appUcation of them; these were traditionaUy two of the principal purposes of provincial councUs. But in spite of the central role assigned to them with a view to the execution ofthe post-Tridentine reform, such councUs were almost never held with the prescribed triennial frequency, not even in the years immediately foUowing the conclusion of the ecumenical assembly . Indeed, it can be shown that in spite ofan initial, significant resumption, already around the end of the sixteenth century the institution was heading toward a slow decline that could not be stopped. Pietro Caiazza resolved to trace the parabola, first ascending and then descending , of the local conciUar activity within the post-Tridentine Church. In carrying out this intention, he limited the subject on the basis of a conscious and expUcit choice (pp. 2-8, 103). On the one hand, he decided on a synchronic 'Bernstein, "Politics and Civic Culture in Sixteenth-Century Poitiers" (Ph.D. dissertation , Princeton University, 1997). BOOK REVIEWS105 treatment of the principal problems, eschewing a diachronic exposition of the events; on the other hand, he stressed the "external" (so to speak) history ofthe conciUar institute (that is, its relations with the Holy See and the state political power) at the sacrifice of its internal dynamic (convocation, conduct of its work, debates, and nature and contents of the final decisions). The book is divided into four chapters.The first takes up the theme ofthe development of concUiar activity Ln which were felt both the weight of Roman centralism and the secular authorities' wiU to control, in particular, that of the Spanish Crown. In the second chapter the functioning of the conciUar institute is studied in a weU circumscribed geographical and chronological range, namely, that of the ecclesiastical province of Salerno, in reference to the provincial councUs of 1 566 and 1 573, although the proceedings of the latter have not been preserved. The third chapter is devoted to intra-ecclesial relations, with particular attention to the recurrent conflicts inside the provincial ecclesiastical structure (as the frequent tensions between metropoUtans and suffragans witness) and to relations with the Roman central authorities.These authorities claimed, already in the period immediately foUowing the conclusion of the CouncU ofTrent, the prerogatives of examining and, Lf necessary, of correcting the decisions of the provincial councUs (recognitio and emendado), as weU as of giving definitive approval to them (confirmado), although up to 1588 these prerogatives were not envisioned in any explicit papal disposition. In the last chapter the author outlines the process...


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