In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

291 Book Reviews only to Ambrose’s prose writings but also to a wide range of patristic exegesis and theology. The study shows the hymns of the Milanese bishop as masterpieces of Christian poetry with a profound theological and spiritual dimension. This reviewer has been particularly impressed by the author’s analysis of the Epiphany hymn Inluminans altissimus, which presents in a nutshell Ambrose’s rich eucharistic theology that has become normative for the Catholic tradition. The study also discusses the place of these hymns within the Milanese liturgy and their afterlife in general, up to vernacular versions composed in more recent times. The mixed history of the hymns in the Divine Office of the Roman Rite is mentioned as well. The revision of these hymns under Pope Urban VIII can only be described as unfortunate, since the “corrections” introduced in the Breviarium Romanum of 1632 displayed a lack of understanding for the characteristic use of Latin in Christian poetry, bringing about the loss of the original’s devout simplicity and boldness. This was obviously seen when the Antiphonale Romanum was published in 1912 with an appendix containing the “Hymni antiqui.” The reform of the Divine Office after the Second Vatican Council was a missed opportunity, insofar as the directive of Sacrosanctum Concilium, no. 93, that “the hymns are to be restored to their original form” was not consistently followed. Zerfaß provides the example of Intende qui regis Israel, which the new Liturgia Horarum assigns to the Office of Readings in the week before Christmas. The first and the sixth verse of the Ambrosian hymn are omitted, precisely those verses which in the author’s analysis are particularly important for the hymn’s theological and spiritual profile. Zerfaß rightly notes a nonchalant attitude towards the poetical and theological integrity of the Office hymns (138). This illuminating study concludes with a reflection on the Christian understanding of “feast,” which is situated within the contemporary discourse of cultural studies. Rev. Uwe Michael Lang, Cong. Orat. Congregation for Divine Worship Rome Ian Linden Global Catholicism: Diversity and Change since Vatican II New York: Columbia University Press, 2009 288 pages. $27.50 In contemporary Catholic circles few debates are more prominent or more heated than those concerning the proper interpretation of the 292 Antiphon 13.3 (2009) Second Vatican Council. Much ink has been spilled over whether the Council represents continuity or discontinuity with tradition and whether that gathering can properly be called an “event.” At the heart of the current controversy is what Father John W. O’Malley of Georgetown University has identified as one of the “issue-under-the issues” at Vatican II, namely, the relationship of the “center to the periphery.” Specifically, behind the Council’s teachings lie questions about the authority of the universal Church in relation to the local churches, and about the dialectic between magisterial teachings and their reception by the faithful. Thus, the debate that continues today regarding the Council’s interpretation is rooted in efforts to determine what Vatican II had to say about the balance of unity and diversity in the Church. Ian Linden’s excellent book Global Catholicism: Diversity and Change since Vatican II represents an important contribution to this conversation and to ecclesiology in general. Linden’s book is, in many ways, about this question of the relation of the center to the periphery. This makes sense, given Linden’s years of service as the Director of the Catholic Institute for International Relations and as an advocate for human rights and international aid in conflict zones. For Linden, the dynamic between center and periphery is not worked out at the Council itself but in what happened in the Church in the wake of that event. One of the assets of Linden’s book is that it does what many others do not: it begins its study of Vatican II by looking at what came before it. While the subtitle for his book is “Diversity and Change since Vatican II,” Linden recognizes the importance of appreciating what preceded this gathering – notably the development of the Church’s anti-modernist views and the circumstances surrounding the rise of la nouvelle theologie – for understanding what happened...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 291-294
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.