Pier Damiani’s economic thought, investigated through the analysis of some important letters from his vast epistolary, traces some of the topoi that had been elaborated over the centuries about the relationship between the Church and its hierarchy with wealth. The evangelical instance of pauperism, proper to the Church of the early days, is soon surpassed in favor of a system that does not abdicate the possession of res ecclesiae and that, on the contrary, calls for the return to, the increase and the optimization, from a managerial point of view, of assets and rights connected to the ecclesiastical bodies. The discourse on res ecclesiae, however, is not a mere thinking exercise but an instrument to be used in the fight against simony. The officium-beneficium nexus, which he considered indivisible, becomes an instrument to attack those who thought they could separate the assets of the churches from the sacerdotal office without staining themselves of simony.
This article considers the idea of the Church adopted by the papacy of Honorius II (1124-1130), a pontificate hitherto overlooked by most historians. The main sources, examined with a particular focus on language and context, are the extant letters produced by the papal chancery, which present the official Roman view. Through the analysis of the papacy’s theoretical assertions of primacy over the whole Church and the innovations of the chancery led by Haimeric (1123-1141), this work argues that this pontificate added a degree of novelty to ideas already in use but also made new and stronger claims for the papal office. The image emerging from this analysis frames Honorius’s papacy more effectively, overturning the idea of a transitional and colourless pope. This was a vital pontificate, during which some significant innovations and claims were made.
In the second half of the fifteenth century, the Florentine confraternal theatre became a key space to convey religious education and political discourse. Ideas about economic ethics were presented to the audience by means of exemplar stories, which were memorable and emotionally engaging. The article investigates how money, credit and usury were represented on the stage by analysing five sacre rappresentazioni (religious dramas) in which the banks and pawnshops played a central role. Beside traditional Christian topics (e.g. almsgiving, transitory goods, providence), the polemical dimension of some plays emerges, as it was functional to the ongoing campaign against Jewish pawnbrokers. Moreover, the playwrights intentionally brought on the stage topics such as the corruption of justice, the conversion/expulsion of the Jews, and the elusive identity of the poor, thus aiming to contribute to redefine society.
Inside the Cathedral-Sanctuary of Foggia the believers venerate the Iconavetere, an old icon hidden by seven veils that, according to the tales of the inventio, have been wrapping it since its finding during the 11th century. The restoration of 1980 induced to cut some elements of the hagiographic legend: the icon, venerated at the beginning without veils, suffered a trauma during the 16th century that prejudiced its public exhibition. The devotees decided to keep it like a relic and expose it to the public veneration covered by veils. Only after the Tridentine Council and for localism, the legend of the miraculous finding of Iconavetere was composed of many hagiographic topoi common to the legends of foundation of sanctuaries.
In the sixteenth century, the Italian port city of Ancona witnessed the settlement of a significant number of Greek merchants, artisans and sailors, who formed a community and were granted the use of the church of Sant’Anna in 1524. Their religious life was strongly influenced by the developments that took place in the Roman Curia between 1520 and 1595, and in particular by the changes in attitude brought by the Catholic Reformation in the second half of the century. This article will analyse how the changing attitudes of the Catholic Church interacted with the social structure of the community, which was characterised by fluidity, internal divisions and the absence of a relationship of mutual interdependence with the local authorities.
This article focuses on some Seventeenth-Century Milanese illustrated texts which are generally neglected. It documents the liveliness of the religious town tradition after the changes imposed by the reforms of St. Charles Borromeo, showing its deep social roots and its capability to nourish in manifold forms the identity of the social community. The main sources of this essay are the edifying book by the Capuchin Ignazio Carnago, Città di rifugio a’ mortali, che contiene le divotioni dell’altissima signora madre di Dio e vergine immaculata (1655); the pamphlet celebrating the foundation of the «Accademia degli Spensierati», edited by the layman Baldassarre Migliavacca (La cena, 1633), and the devoted biography of a canon, who died in the odor of sanctity in 1666 (Santa vita e morte del venerabile sacerdote Luigi Cantova, 1717), written by his Jesuit nephew Giovanni Antonio Cantova.
The essay focuses on the manuscript 326 conserved in the Museo Diocesano Tridentino in Trento. This book is the second part of a Giant Bible, which was written in the third quarter of the 12th century, probably in Tuscany. The manuscript is analyzed under four main perspectives: textual, palaeographic, structural, and iconographic. The study on the Bible of Trento provides new information about the book, up to now known just for the decorative quality. The analysis of the quires and of the mise en page, as well as of the main characteristics of writing peculiar to the individual copyists, contributes to the research on the manufacturing methods. More interestingly, the study of the textual aspects has resulted in the reconsideration of the liturgical use of such giant manuscripts. An Appendix focuses on the paratextual elements present in the Bible at the Museo Diocesano Tridentino.
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