Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Apologia del Beneficio De Christo E Altri Scritti Inediti

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Apologia del Beneficio De Christo E Altri Scritti Inediti

Article excerpt

Apologia del Beneficio di Christo e altri scritti inediti, By Marcantonio Flaminio. Edited by Dario Marcatto. [Fondazione Luigi Firpo, Centro di Studi sul Pensiero Politico, Studi e Testi 5.] (Florence: Leo S. Olschki Editore. 1996. Pp. 225. Lire 50.000 paperback.)

The early 1540's in sixteenth-century Italy have long been identified as a crucible for the religious crisis experienced by the spirituali, especially those who followed the teachings of the Spaniard, Juan de Valdes. When Valdes died in 1541, many of his disciples, including Marcantonio Flaminio, relocated from Naples to Viterbo, forming a new circle around Cardinal Pole.Thanks to the editor of this important collection, Dario Marcatto, more light has been shed on Flaminio's close connection to the Beneficio di Christo, his religious thought and spiritual devotion, his theological debt to Valdes, and his association with the spirituali at Viterbo and beyond.

The Beneficio di Christo-Flaminio's revision of Benedetto Fontanini da Mantova's original-was published in Venice twice in 1543, and quickly became one of the most popular devotional works for the spirituali. Orthodox Catholic authorities, however, soon considered its possession a litmus test for heresy. The Dominican Ambrogio Catharino Politi condemned it as heretical in 1544 in Compendio d'errori et inganni luterani contenuti in un libretto senza nome de l'autore, intitolato "Trattato utilissimo del benef tio di Christo crucifisso." Shortly after the publication of the Compendio, Flaminio began to write the Apologia del Beneficio di Christo, the central text in this collection. …

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