Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Im Zeichen Von Kirchenreform Und Reformation: Gesammelte Studien Zur Kirchengeschichte in Spätmittelalter Und Früher Neuzeit

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Im Zeichen Von Kirchenreform Und Reformation: Gesammelte Studien Zur Kirchengeschichte in Spätmittelalter Und Früher Neuzeit

Article excerpt

Im Zeichen von Kirchenreform und Reformation: Gesammelte Studien zur Kirchengeschichte in Spätmittelalter und früher Neuzeit. By Heribert Smolinsky. Edited by Karl-Heinz Braun, Barbara Henze, and Bernhard Schneider. [Reformationsgeschichtliche Studien und Texte, Supplementband 5.] (Miinster:Aschendorff Verlag. 2005. Pp. vi, 469. euro59,00.)

Heribert Smolinsky has been one of the towering figures in the late-twentieth-century interpretation of Early Modern Catholicism. A careful reader of Reformation-era dogmatic treatises and an original researcher in the area of Catholic confessionalization, Smolinsky has over three decades helped shape our understanding of political and religious history during the sixteenth century. Since much of his work appeared in collected volumes and is not available in digital form, this collection by three former students of twenty-two (from a total of over a hundred) of his papers is especially welcome.

Organized in four sections representing the distinct research areas to which Smolinsky has contributed (Humanism and Educational History; Reformation History and Church Reform; the Reformation in the Upper Rhine; and History of Theology and Scholarship), these articles taken together demonstrate a mastery of detail combined with a methodological acuity that is instructive for church historians of any era or region. For many American historians of Early Modern Catholicism, Smolinsky's 1983 essay on Reformation History as Church History stands alongside the contributions of Hubert Jedin and John O'Malley for its clear grasp of the religious aspects of the Catholic response to the Reformation. Whether elucidating Thomas Murner's polemical use of satire (1987) or analyzing in 1991 the ecclesiastical diplomacy of Archbishop Albrecht of Brandenburg, Smolinsky is careful to set his findings within the extended Reformation narrative that includes late-medieval thought and Catholic Reform. Historians of late-medieval theology will find in the 1976 essay on Jean Gerson a detailed account of that chancellor's reform initiative at Paris .This was Smolinsky's first statement of the thesis that university reform was a precursor to religious reform, an argument supported in this volume by a 1994 survey of reformist tendencies in the universities and a close reading (first published in 1990) of Johann Eck's lectures on Genesis at Ingolstadt in the 1520's and '30's. …

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