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Reviewed by:
  • Pietro di Giovanni Olivi Frate Minore
  • David Flood O.F.M.
Pietro di Giovanni Olivi Frate Minore. Atti del XLIII Convegno internazionale(Assisi, 16-18 08 2015). Spoleto: CISAM, 2016. pp. X- 518. ISBN: 978-88-6809-118-7

The October 2016 publication of the 2015 convegnoon Peter of John Olivi begins with a fine survey of Provence and Languedoc in Olivi's time (3-100). J. Chiffoleau, with C. Lenoble, supplies the reader with much detail and some summary, along with abundant reference, on Olivi's home turf. In the come and go of life religious and lay, Olivi saw to critical support for business while trying to stabilize Franciscan life. He did very well by both. Chiffoleau finishes his pages on Olivi's days by suggesting that Olivi had better to do around Narbonne than in Paris.

Tiziana Suarez-Nani offers thoughts and examples of Peter Olivi's "spiritual philosophy" (101-130). That he offers Aristotle little esteem we know; that Olivi replaces Aristotle's empirical emphasis with a "filosofia astratta e spirituale" (113) invites explanation. Suarez-Nani offers just that with examples (113-128). Objects are seen; they do not cause vision (note 57), for spirit exceeds objects, incomparabiliter. Olivi had to deal with philosophy and he did so, successfully. His philosophy did not get much attention.

Fortunato Iozzelli introduces his presentation and study of Peter Olivi's exegetical work with a brief account of the biblical books of Olivi already edited (131-138). Among the scholars of the 13 thcentury, Olivi gave the Bible considerable attention. Recently his biblical work has drawn the attention of those interested in his story. F. Iozzelli, who has edited some of Olivi's exegetical work, puts Olivi the exegete on display first by sketching out Olivi's method (138-162), and second by putting the method to work on a brief piece of Luke's gospel: the Prodigal Son (162-180). As for the first, Olivi goes along with the method common to universities in his day. He reads the Bible in four ways. These ways have come down to us: literal, allegorical, tropical (moral), and anagogical. With some commentaries, Olivi precedes the common way, engaging in his own considerations about the task ahead of him. Well informed about what is going on in study of the Bible, he is his own exegete. Iozzelli lays out how Olivi first heeds the words and their meaning (154 as summary of 140-156). Then he offers a few examples, for, once well rendered, the words supply the message, be it allegorical, tropical, or anagogical (156-157). [End Page 533]Finally, the prodigal son dares cast himself into the arms of his father where God welcomes him. Iozzelli's account of Olivi the exegete is a successful classroom operation, opening the door wide to one interested in Peter of John Olivi and the Bible.

Damien Ruiz turns a light composition of Peter Olivi into a heavy lesson on order and apocalypticism ("La Règle et l'Ordre chez Pierre de Jean-Olivi," 211-240). It is not that Ruiz cannot read (and read well) the Rule commentary as he does. Still, Olivi claims to be offering the common brothers "a brief and handy guide in simple words." Olivi does tell his brothers their role in history; he does not keep them uninformed. He certainly ends his commentary on a light note, however, as he uses symbols telling us that all shall end well (94-96).

Before beginning his study of Peter Olivi's Tractatus de contractibus(241-275), G. Ceccarelli does nottry to put together a friar who refers to capital with the friar known for championing poverty. He does consider succumbing to three Olivis: one handles economics, drawing well on the literature; the second theologizes in a wide variety of modes; the third champions gospel poverty. Ceccarelli lets it all lie; he simply and usefully follows the fate of the Tractatusthrough to Sylvain Piron's final edition. Then he begins laying out several of the questions raised by the treatise. Ceccarelli checks out Olivi as he recognizes the merchants' labors, attentive to the way Olivi's...


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