Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

A Fish out of Water? from Contemplative Solitude to Carthusian Involvement in Pastoral Care and Reform Activity

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

A Fish out of Water? from Contemplative Solitude to Carthusian Involvement in Pastoral Care and Reform Activity

Article excerpt

A Fish Out of Water? From Contemplative Solitude to Carthusian Involvement in Pastoral Care and Reform Activity. Edited by Stephen J. Molvarec and Tom Gaens. [Miscellanea Neerlandica, XLI; Studia Cartusiana, 2.] (Leuven: Peeters. 2013. Pp. 289. euro49,00 paperback. ISBN 978-90-429-2980-7.)

The papers in this volume were presented at the 2008 conference "Late Medieval Spiritual Renewal in the Low Countries Influenced by the Carthusian Order," which was held at the former charterhouse of Zelem, near Diest, Belgium. Two long essays in English by the editors, dealing with the broad theme of monastic renewal and Carthusian interaction with the world, anchor the volume. They are complemented by seven shorter contributions, four in English and three in Dutch with ver}' extensive English summaries. These seven essays address Jan Ruusbroec's stay at the Charterhouse of Herne against the background of the condemnation of Meister Eckhart (Rob Faesen, English), interaction between Denys the Carthusian and Franciscan tertiaries (Hildo van Engen, Dutch), Geert Grote's correspondence with the reform-minded Cistercian abbot of Kamp about the inner spirituality required for reforming laxity regarding private property (Rudolf Th. M. van Dijk, Dutch), possible Carthusian influence on the celebration of the Feast of the Visitation at Tongeren (Pieter Mannaerts, English), Denys the Carthusian and discretio as inner reform (Krijn Pansters, English), a Carthusian role in the dissemination of the cult of Catherine of Siena in the Low Countries (Geert H. M. Claassens, Dutch), and the role of a Carthusian prior chosen by a Dutch curial cardinal to reform hospitals in the Low Countries and beyond (Frans Gooskens, English).

Coeditor Stephen Molvarec's contribution admirably surveys-on the basis of intensive studies of Carthusian texts, monastic archives, and other archives- Carthusian involvement in the ecclesial world from the twelfth century onward, including Carthusians as reform bishops. Molvarec then studies late-medieval "worldly" involvement by means of the French royal Carthusian foundation at Paris, one of the earliest of the many late-medieval charterhouses founded on the edges of large cities. …

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