Caravale, “Preaching and Inquisition in Renaissance Italy”

In November, Brill Publishers will release Preaching and Inquisition in Renaissance Italy: Words on Trial by Giorgio Caravale (University of Rome). The publisher’s description follows:

Preaching and Inquisition in Renaissance Italy.jpgAs has been well documented, the printed word was an essential vehicle for the transmission of reformed theology, and one that has left a tangible record for historians to explore. Yet as contemporaries well recognized, books were only a part of the process. It was the spoken word – and especially preaching – that created the demand for printed works. Sermons were the plough that prepared the ground for Lutheran literature to flourish. In order to better understand the relationship between oral sermons and the spread of protestant ideas, Preaching and Inquisition in Renaissance Italy draws upon the records of the Roman Inquisition to see how that institution confronted the challenges of reform on the Italian peninsula in the sixteenth century. At the heart of its subject matter is the increasingly sophisticated rhetorical skill of heterodox preachers at the time, who achieved their ends by silence and omission rather than positive affirmations of Lutheran tenets.

“Melania” (Chin and Schroeder, eds.)

In October, the University of California Press will release Melania: Early Christianity through the Life of One Family edited by Catherine M. Chin (University of California, Davis) and Caroline T. Schroeder (University of the Pacific). The publisher’s description follows:

melaniaMelania the Elder and her granddaughter Melania the Younger were major figures in early Christian history, using their wealth, status, and forceful personalities to shape the development of nearly every aspect of the religion we now know as Christianity. This volume examines their influence on late antique  Christianity and provides an insightful portrait of their legacies in the modern world. Departing from the traditionally patriarchal view, Melania gives a poignant and sometimes surprising account of how the rise of Christian institutions in the Roman Empire shaped our understanding of women’s roles in the larger world.

Chapman, “Theology at War and Peace”

In November, Routledge will release Theology at War and Peace: English Theology and Germany in the First World War by Mark D. Chapman (University of Oxford). The publisher’s description follows:

Multireligious SocietyThis book is the first detailed discussion of the impact of the First World War on English theology. Assessing the close relationships between English and German theologians before the First World War, Mark Chapman then explores developments throughout the war. A series of case studies make use of a large amount of unpublished material, showing how some theologians sought to maintain relationships with their German colleagues, while others, especially from a more Anglo-Catholic perspective, used the war as an opportunity to distance themselves from the liberal theology which was beginning to dominate the universities before the war. The increasing animosity between Britain and Germany meant that relations were never healed. English theology became increasingly insular, dividing between a more home-grown variety of liberalism and an ascendant Anglo-Catholicism.

Saccenti, “Debating Medieval Natural Law”

In October, the University of Notre Dame Press will release Debating Medieval Natural Law: A Survey by Riccardo Saccenti (University of Bologna). The publisher’s description follows:

debating-medieval-natural-lawIn Debating Medieval Natural Law: A Survey, Riccardo Saccenti examines and evaluates the major lines of interpretation of the medieval concepts of natural rights and natural law within the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries and explains how the major historiographical interpretations of ius naturale and lex naturalis have changed. His bibliographical survey analyzes not only the chronological evolution of various interpretations of natural law but also how they differ, in an effort to shed light on the historical debate and on the medieval roots of modern human rights theories.

Saccenti critically examines the historical analyses of the major historians of medieval political and legal thought while addressing how to further research on the subject. His perspective interlaces different disciplinary points of view: history of philosophy, as well as history of canon and civil law and history of theology. By focusing on a variety of disciplines, Saccenti creates an opportunity to evaluate each interpretation of medieval lex naturalis in terms of the area it enlightens and within specific cultural contexts. His survey is a basis for future studies concerning this topic and will be of interest to scholars of the history of law and, more generally, of the history of ideas in the twentieth century.

Fluker, “The Ground Has Shifted”

In November, New York University Press will release The Ground Has Shifted: The Future of the Black Church in Post-Racial America by Walter Earl Fluker (Boston University). The publisher’s description follows:

If we are in a post-racial era, then what is the future of the Black Church?  If the U.S. will at some time in the future be free from discrimination and prejudices that are basedGround has Shifted, The on race how will that affect the church’s very identity?

In The Ground Has Shifted, Walter Earl Fluker passionately and thoroughly discusses the historical and current role of the black church and argues that the older race-based language and metaphors of religious discourse have outlived their utility.  He offers instead a larger, global vision for the black church that focuses on young black men and other disenfranchised groups who have been left behind in a world of globalized capital.

Lyrically written with an emphasis on the dynamic and fluid movement of life itself, Fluker argues that the church must find new ways to use race as an emancipatory instrument if it is to remain central in black life, and he points the way for a new generation of church leaders, scholars and activists to reclaim the black church’s historical identity and to turn to the task of infusing character, civility, and a sense of community among its congregants.

Heale, “The Abbots and Priors of Late Medieval and Reformation England”

In November, Oxford University Press will release The Abbots and Priors of Late Medieval and Reformation England by Martin Heale (University of Liverpool). The publisher’s description follows:

The importance of the medieval abbot needs no particular emphasis. The monastic superiors of late medieval England ruled over thousands of monks and canons, who swore to them vows of obedience; they were prominent figures in royal and church governThe Abbots and Priorsment; and collectively they controlled properties worth around double the Crown’s annual ordinary income. Moreover, as guardians of regular observance and the primary interface between their monastery and the wider world, abbots and priors were pivotal to the effective functioning and well-being of the monastic order. The Abbots and Priors of Late Medieval and Reformation England provides the first detailed study of English male monastic superiors, exploring their evolving role and reputation between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries.

Individual chapters examine the election and selection of late medieval monastic heads; the internal functions of the superior as the father of the community; the head of house as administrator; abbatial living standards and modes of display; monastic superiors’ public role in service of the Church and Crown; their external relations and reputation; the interaction between monastic heads and the government in Henry VIII’s England; the Dissolution of the monasteries; and the afterlives of abbots and priors following the suppression of their houses.

This study of monastic leadership sheds much valuable light on the religious houses of late medieval and early Tudor England, including their spiritual life, administration, spending priorities, and their multi-faceted relations with the outside world. The Abbots and Priors of Late Medieval and Reformation England also elucidates the crucial part played by monastic superiors in the dramatic events of the 1530s, when many heads surrendered their monasteries into the hands of Henry VIII.

Book Event: “Resurrecting the Idea of a Christian Society” (New York, Sept. 20)

First Things Magazine will hold a discussion of R.R. Reno’s new book, Resurrecting the Idea of a Christian Society, on September 20 in New York. (Last month, Center Director Mark Movsesian interviewed Reno about the book as part of our Conversations series). Here’s some information about the event, from the magazine: Resurrecting the Idea of a Christian Society

Please join us for a book talk, along with a wine and cheese reception, with First Things editor R. R. Reno. In Resurrecting the Idea of a Christian Society, Reno argues that America needs a renewal of Christian ideals—ideals that encourage self-sacrifice, responsibility, and solidarity. Drawing on T.S. Eliot’s 1940 essay “The Idea of a Christian Society,” Reno shows how Christianity encourages “an abiding ambition for higher things” and a “moral vision” that can strengthen communities and transform America into a truly great nation.

Further information can be found here.

Wu, “From Christ to Confucius”

In November, Yale University Press will release From Christ to Confucius: German Missionaries, Chinese Christians, and the Globalization of Christianity, 1860-1950 by Albert Monshan Wu (American University of Paris). The publisher’s description follows:From Christ to Confucious.jpg

A bold and original study of German missionaries in China, who catalyzed a revolution in thinking among European Christians about the nature of Christianity itself

In this accessibly written and empirically based study, Albert Wu documents how German missionaries—chastened by their failure to convert Chinese people to Christianity—reconsidered their attitudes toward Chinese culture and Confucianism. In time, their increased openness catalyzed a revolution in thinking among European Christians about the nature of Christianity itself. At a moment when Europe’s Christian population is falling behind those of South America and Africa, Wu’s provocative analysis sheds light on the roots of Christianity’s global shift.

Roberts, “Evangelical Gotham”

In November, the University of Chicago Press will release Evangelical Gotham: Religion and the Making of New York City, 1783-1860 by Kyle B. Roberts (Loyola University, Chicago). The publisher’s description follows:Evangelical Gotham

At first glance, evangelical and Gotham seem like an odd pair. What does a movement of pious converts and reformers have to do with a city notoriously full of temptation and sin? More than you might think, says Kyle B. Roberts, who argues that religion must be considered alongside immigration, commerce, and real estate scarcity as one of the forces that shaped the New York City we know today.

In Evangelical Gotham, Roberts explores the role of the urban evangelical community in the development of New York between the American Revolution and the Civil War. As developers prepared to open new neighborhoods uptown, evangelicals stood ready to build meetinghouses. As the city’s financial center emerged and solidified, evangelicals capitalized on the resultant wealth, technology, and resources to expand their missionary and benevolent causes. When they began to feel that the city’s morals had degenerated, evangelicals turned to temperance, Sunday school, prayer meetings, antislavery causes, and urban missions to reform their neighbors. The result of these efforts was Evangelical Gotham—a complicated and contradictory world whose influence spread far beyond the shores of Manhattan.

 

Fried, “Charlemagne”

In October, the Harvard University Press will release “Charlemagne,” by Johannes Fried (University of Frankfurt). The publisher’s description follows:

When Charlemagne died in 814 CE, he left behind a dominion and a legacy unlike anything seen in Western Europe since the fall of Rome. Distinguished historian and 9780674737396-lgauthor of The Middle Ages Johannes Fried presents a new biographical study of the legendary Frankish king and emperor, illuminating the life and reign of a ruler who shaped Europe’s destiny in ways few figures, before or since, have equaled.

Living in an age of faith, Charlemagne was above all a Christian king, Fried says. He made his court in Aix-la-Chapelle the center of a religious and intellectual renaissance, enlisting the Anglo-Saxon scholar Alcuin of York to be his personal tutor, and insisting that monks be literate and versed in rhetoric and logic. He erected a magnificent cathedral in his capital, decorating it lavishly while also dutifully attending Mass every morning and evening. And to an extent greater than any ruler before him, Charlemagne enhanced the papacy’s influence, becoming the first king to enact the legal principle that the pope was beyond the reach of temporal justice—a decision with fateful consequences for European politics for centuries afterward.

Though devout, Charlemagne was not saintly. He was a warrior-king, intimately familiar with violence and bloodshed. And he enjoyed worldly pleasures, including physical love. Though there are aspects of his personality we can never know with certainty, Fried paints a compelling portrait of a ruler, a time, and a kingdom that deepens our understanding of the man often called “the father of Europe.”

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