Passionstheologie und Passionsfrömmigkeit im ausgehenden Mittelalter. Der Nürnberger Franziskaner Stephan Fridolin (gest. 1498) zwischen Kloster und Stadt by Petra Seegets (review)
- Franciscan Studies
- Franciscan Institute Publications
- Volume 57, 1999
- pp. 229-230
- Additional Information
Book Reviews229 indicates, the organization has its seat in the eastern part of the country. Petra Seegets. Passionstheologie und Passionsfrömmigkeit im ausgehenden Mittelalter. Der Nürnberger Franziskaner Stephan Fridolin (gest. 1498) zwischen Kloster und Stadt. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, 1998, 338pp. ISBN 3-16-146862-7. Petra Seegets has followed closely the life and activities of a late fifteenth century Franciscan, Stephen Fridolin (c.1430-1498). Stephen Fridolin belonged to the Strasburg province. We hear of him from 1460 on in the context of the Observant reform. When first sighted he was preaching in Bamberg. He took part in the provincial chapter in Ingolstadt in 1475. In the following years he assumed various responsibilities in his province, as magister and lector, as councilor local and provincial. From 1479 on, he lived and worked principally in Nuremberg. We know him in particular through sermons and books of piety which have come down to us. Seegets begins by fitting Stephen Fridolin into the Observant history of southern Germany. Then she examines at length the Franciscan's writings, both from manuscripts as well as from incunabula. Seegets does an excellent job of familiarizing us with Fridolin's writings and consequently with his theology of the Passion. We see this first of all in her brief study of the sermons which have survived. These are talks he gave the Poor Clares in Nuremberg rather than the sermons he preached in parishes. Seegets attempts to trace the way the texts came to paper, a tricky task for those who study medieval sermons, and she ends up with a good, plausible explanation (66-67). She also finds in Fridolin's sermons the theme basic to his spiritual work among the lay as well as among religious: The Lord's sufferings enable one who truly wishes, to approach the Father with confidence. Stephen Fridolin preached the Passion not as a school of virtue but as the warrant of salvation. It was the Christian's wealth (Schatz), and only secondarily the Christian's school. The message fit the mentality of the day, unsure and even anguished about God's final judgment. 230Book Reviews Among the writings of Fridolin which were published and have come down to us Seegets understandably devotes estensive attention to his Schatzbehalter, as the book was called: "The Crucified Christ, Our Treasure." It was published, a book of seven hundred pages with one hundred full-page woodcuts, by Anton Koberger in Nuremberg in 1491. Seegets' several pages on its publication (169176 ) show us early book-making and book-marketing by one of Europe's principal publishing houses. Having carefully published the book for us, and wondered about the number of copies and even the price, Seegets then describes the lay audience for which Fridolin was writing, analyses his procedures, and goes on to size up the book's contents and basic message. As she observes several times, the Franciscan did not hesitate to lead his readers into a maze of subdivision. Seegets has explored the labyrinth and, to help us view the whole, details the book's many side passages in a fourteenpage appendix, with an extra few pages for the woodcuts. In her conclusion, she points out that much more can be said about the book, and suggests thinking about its reception, but figures she has satisfied the task of drawing Stephen Fridolin and his writings clearly into view. That she has done, and very well. Stephen Fridolin takes on the traits of an individual especially when Seegets describes the concreteness of his discourse and his sensitivity to people's existential anguish. He tried to entertain as well as instuct his audience, while urging them to embrace God's loving gift of redemption. Yet he remains elusive. Given the background to her scholarship, Seegets would like to draw him into Nuremberg's Christian humanism, but concludes he was no more than a good Franciscan (162-167). She opens her first, historical section of the book with Glassberger's high praise for the Franciscans of Nuremberg. She concludes her biographical account of Stephen Fridolin (54-55) by suggesting that, in his praise for the Franciscans of Nuremberg, Glassberger could well have had Stephen in...