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Short Notices 291 Chenu, M.-D, Nature, Man and Society in the Twelfth Century, (Medieval Academy Reprints for Teaching 37), ed. and trans. Jerome Taylor and Lester K. Little, with preface by Etienne GUson, Toronto/Buffalo/London, University of Toronto Press, 1997; paper; pp. xxi, 361; R.R.P. US$16.95, £13.00. The Dominican theologian, Marie-Dominique Chenu, was one of the great twentieth-century interpreters of scholasticism and Thomism, as weU as a proponent of reform in the CathoUc Church. Though he wrote several books—among them a masterly Introduction a I'etude de Saint Thomas d'Aquin—much of his writing consisted of scholarly articles. Some of the best of these were coUected in 1957 under the title La theologie au douzieme siecle, which also contained some newlywritten essays. This EngUsh translation, originaUy published in 1968, contains nine of the articles from that book, selected and annotated by Jerome Taylor and Lester K. Little. The annotations are particularly valuable; they expand and elucidate many of Chenu's o w n notes which were deUberately kept very brief. As the author himself acknowledged, these studies do not 'constitute an organic history of a century great in its theology' (p. xv). But they are, nevertheless, closely interrelated investigations into the inteUectual perspectives which underlay that theology and shaped it. There are no studies of individual theologians of the period, nor of the major doctrinal topics over which disputes flared. Instead, Chenu examines such themes as symboUsm, the interpretation of history and of the Old Testament, the relationship between m a n and nature, and the spiritual life. The thread running through aU these topics is that of reform and change. Chenu is particularly interested in this period as the time when the foundations were laid for the great scholastic systems of the foUowing century. But he is not simply seeking the origins of scholasticism. Instead, he shows the richness and variety of theology and the spiritual life in the twelfth century, when the patristic tradition and bibUcal exegesis were reworked and various different lines of reUgious life and thought were tested and developed. W h U e some of these came to fruition in the thirteenth century, others remained quiescent, to re-emerge in" due course. 292 Short Notices These are important essays, which make a significant contribution to thenfield.They are for the advanced student or researcher, not the novice, but they should stiU be read and studied closely by anyone with an interest in the theological and spiritual world of twelfthcentury Europe. Toby Burrows Scholar' Centre The University of Western AustraUa Crawford, Patricia, Women and Religion in England 1500-1720 (Christianity and Society in the Modern World), London and N e w York, Routledge, 1993, rpt. 1996; paper; pp. 280; R.R.P. US$22.95,£15.99. This is a densely written, intensely readable and lucid study of the ways in which w o m e n experienced religion in the period from the Reformation to the Restoration. Crawford is concerned to explicate the role of w o m e n in the political and social changes which resulted from the multipUcation of possible Christian positions brought about by the Reformation, and the shifting of poUtical values experienced throughout the CivU War, the Parliamentary period, and the Restoration. To achieve this aim the book is divided into four sections. Part 1, 'ReUgious changes 1500-1640', surveys the principal events of the EngUsh Reformation; the differing positions adopted by CathoUcs, AngUcans and radical Protestants concerning women, marriage and the famUy; and the ways in which the three groups interacted during this period. Crawford's grasp of the intimate relationship between reUgion and poUtics is masterly, and her sensitivity to the operation of reUgion as an instrument in the complex gender poUtics of Reformation England informs Part 2, 'Women's reUgious beUefs and spirituaUty 1500-1720'. Here the 'acceptable' stereotype of the domestic, conventionaUy pious w o m a n is contrasted with the 'dangerous' reUgious activities of magic, prophecy and mysticism. Crawford is careful to distinguish between these types of experience, while accepting the conclusion that aU three were likely to render a ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1832-8334
Print ISSN
0313-6221
Pages
pp. 291-292
Launched on MUSE
2013-04-03
Open Access
No
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