Studi Su Clemente Romano: Atti Degli Incontri Di Roma, 29 Marzo E 22 Novembre 2001

By Elliott, John H. | The Catholic Historical Review, July 2004 | Go to article overview
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Studi Su Clemente Romano: Atti Degli Incontri Di Roma, 29 Marzo E 22 Novembre 2001


Elliott, John H., The Catholic Historical Review


Ancient and Medieval Studi su Clemente Romano: Atti degli Incontri di Roma, 29 marzo e 22 novembre 2001. Edited by Philippe Luisier, S.J. [Orientalia Christiana Analecta 268.] (Rome: Pontificio Istituto Orientale. 2003. Pp. 226. Paperback.)

The eight essays of this volume are products of two conferences focused on Clemens Romanus and Clementine tradition held in March and November, 2001, in the city of Rome. English and Italian summaries of each essay conclude the volume, which contains no indices.

Alessandro Bausi ("San Clemente e le tradizioni clementine nella letteratura etiopica canonico-liturgica," pp. 13-55) presents a valuable overview of research on Ethiopian literature on Clement and the Clementine tradition. One group of texts written under the name of Clement belongs to the literary genre of the Graeco-Roman romance novel (e.g., The Preaching and The Acts of Peter). Another group belongs to the tradition of canon law and liturgy (Sinodos, The Synod or the Collection of Canons). Translations from the Greek mark the first period of this literature (fourth to seventh centuries); pseudonymous texts attributed to Clement are translations from Arabic with a long line of transmission in which Arabic versions are the immediate antecedents of Ethiopian versions. The possible existence in the first period of pseudo-Clementine texts of canonical-liturgical content and an Ethiopian collection of canon law would shed new light on the origin of anthologies of canon law in Ethiopia. An extensive bibliography closes the essay.

Two of the eight essays are by Enrico Cattaneo on the text of 1 Clement, In the first ("Un 'nuovo' passo della Prima dementis', la 'grande ammonizione' di 58,2-59,2a,"pp. 57-82), Cattaneo argues that 1 Clement 58:2-59:2a constitutes a "focal point" of this general yet personal letter. Reflecting an awareness of the Israelite roots of the Roman Christian community, the verses constitute a "grand admonition" concluding this admonitory letter and promise salvation to those who like Jesus obey God's will. Cattaneo's second study ("La Prima dementis come un caso di correptio fraterna"pp. 83-103) views the entire letter as a fraternal admonition/instruction/correction (paideia) from the church at Rome to that at Corinth, similar to the fraternal instruction of IQS 5,24-6,1 in content and spirit.

Offering a "profile of Clement of Rome in the liturgical texts of the Christian East" (pp. 107-126), Johannes Hoffmann discusses (1) the canonical reception of 1 (and 2) Clement at Corinth, among the Copts (fifth century) and as late as the twelfth century among the Syrian Orthodox; (2) Clement as pseudepigraphic author of various liturgical formulae and directives contained in, inter alia, the Apostolic Constitutions, a Syrian Orthodox Divine Liturgy, Egyptian canonical anthologies and even later fasting rule from Calabria (fifteenth century); and (3) hagiographical detail on Clement contained in medieval liturgical texts.

Elzbieta Jastrzebowska ("Il culto di s. Clemente a Chersoneso alia luce della ricerca archeologica," pp. 127-137 and 14 plates) demonstrates that archaeological research does not substantiate any early veneration of Clemens Romanus at Chersonesis, the purported location of his death and burial, prior to the seventh century. The sole church bearing his name was consecrated only in the nineteenth century. Here, as is often the case, written sources and archaeological evidence fail to match.

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