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The Catholic Historical Review 90.1 (2004) 163-173

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A conference on "Women and American Religion" was held at the University of Chicago Divinity School on October 8-10, 2003. Among the papers presented were "Hail Mary Down by the Riverside: Black and White Catholic Women in Early America," by Emily Clark of Lewis and Clark College; "'The New Woman at the University': Gender, Americanism, and the Founding of Trinity College for Catholic Women," by Kathleen Sprows Cummings of the University ofNotre Dame; "Madres, católicas y evangélicas: The Women of Mary's Ministriesand Crafting a New American Catholicism," by Kristy Nabhan-Warren of Augustana College; and "'Are You the White Nuns or the Black Nuns?' Women Confounding Categories of Race and Gender," by Amy Koehlinger of Florida StateUniversity.

To mark the fourteenth centenary of the death of Gregory the Great, who died on March 12, 604, an international conference was held in Rome and Vatican City on October 22-25, 2003; it was sponsored by the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei and the Pontifical Committee of Historical Sciences. Among the fourteen speakers were Carol Straw of Mount Holyoke College ("Classical Heritage and a New Spiritual Synthesis") and Robert Austin Markus of the University of Nottingham ("Grégoire le Grand et Bède: la genèse de la tradition apocalyptiqueoccidentale"). In a message sent to the chairman of the Pontifical Committee, Monsignor Walter Brandmüller on October 22, Pope John Paul II praised St. Gregory's intuition that the legacy of classical and Christian antiquity "constituted a precious foundation for all subsequent scientific and human development." Gregory the Great's commitment to emphasize the primacy of the human person—"considered not only in his physical, psychological, and social dimension but also in the constant reference to his eternal destiny"—was another significant characteristic of his work.

The Pontifical Committee of Historical Sciences also organized a commemorative conference on "Leone XIII e gli studi storici" to mark the centenary of the pope's death (July 20, 1903). It was held in the Old Synod Hall of the Vatican Apostolic Palace on October 30-31, 2003, under the chairmanship of Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Secretary of State; papers were read by Philippe Sevillain, Arnold Esch, the prefects of the Apostolic Vatican Library, Raffaele Farina, and of the Secret Vatican Archives, Sergio Pagano, and Cosimo Semeraro. In a message to the participants in the conference made public on October 31 Pope John [End Page 163] Paul II wrote "that those who do research on the roots of conflicts discover that the negative consequences of events in the past continue to be present. Frequently, these contaminated memories have become integral elements of the national identity and, in some cases, even of the religious identity. This is why we must renounce any manipulation of the truth. The historian's love for his own people, community, even religious community, must not compete with the rigor for scientifically prepared truth. It is from here that the process of purifying the memory begins. This effort to purify one's memory entails for individuals as well as peoples the recognition of errors for which they must ask forgiveness. This sometimes requires much courage and self-denial. However, it is the only way that social and national groups, freed from the remnants of old resentment, can come together with fraternal and reciprocal loyalty in order to build a better future for all." The Holy Father concluded his message by adding that historians must not be "accusers or judges of the past, but must attempt to patiently understand each event with the maximum depth and amplitude, in order to delineate a historic context as close as possible to the truth of the facts."

"Federico Borromeo principe e mecenate" was the theme of the Dies academicus of the Accademia di S. Carlo held on November 21-22, 2003, at the Ambrosian Library in Milan. Two of the thirteen speakers were John Alexander ("L'istituto per le Fabbriche ecclesiastiche e il disegno dell'architettura federiciana") and Pamela Jones ("Riflessioni sul collezionismo tra Roma e Milano nel...


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