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Corpus Christianorum
Iohannes Soreth
Expositio paraenetica in Regulam Carmelitarum

B. D. Deschamp (ed.)
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CX+228 p., 155 x 245 mm, 2016
ISBN: 978-2-503-54765-7
Languages: Latin, English
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Of the various commentaries on the Rule of the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel (the Carmelite Rule), that by John Soreth, Prior General of the Carmelites from 1451 to 1471, and commonly known as the Expositio paraenetica, has a special place in the history of Carmelite spirituality and, more broadly, is of particular interest as an expression of some of the trends in Western Christian spirituality in the last half of the fifteenth century.

This new volume in the Corpus Christianorum, Continuatio Mediaevalis makes available not only the text of the commentary of Soreth based on near-contemporary manuscripts of the last quarter of the 15th century, but also the text of the Carmelite Rule that purports to be a copy of the now lost, original regula bullata, found in the bull of Pope Innocent IV, Quae honorem Conditoris of 1 October 1247, and preserved at the time Soreth wrote his commentary in the Carmelite monastery in Cologne. What is known today as the Carmelite Rule was given originally, and in a slightly different form, as a uitaeformula to a group of anonymous hermits residing on Mount Carmel in the Holy Land by St. Albert of Vercelli, sometime during the period when he was Patriarch of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, between 1206 and 1214. The text of the Rule found in the Bull of Pope Innocent IV incorporated adaptations to the uitaeformula made necessary by the situation the Carmelites found themselves in after having started to move back to the West in around 1238. The Carmelites continued to live on Mount Carmel until 1291, the date of the fall of Acre, the last remaining major stronghold of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem.

In addition to giving a critical edition of Soreth’s text, the volume is of significance in that it comprehensively identifies the immediate sources of Soreth’s commentary, especially the various florilegia and compilationes used by him in creatively weaving a text grounded predominantly in the works of classical Christian spirituality. The commentary, primarily exhortatory in style, hence the designation of this work as an expositio paraenetica, relies heavily on Bernard of Clairvaux. It thus needs to be seen as an integral part of Soreth’s own reforming activity of the Carmelites.

 

Bryan Deschamp is a graduate of the Catholic University of Leuven (KU Leuven) where he received a doctorate in theology for his work on John Soreth. He also pursued studies in theology (STL) at the Pontificia Universitas Gregoriana in Rome, and in medieval studies in Louvain (UCL).

Review
"Der jahrzehntelangen Mühen des Editors haben einen würdigen Abschluss gefunden - und Brepols ist einmal mehr dafür zu danken, einen bisher als eher randständig empfundenen  Text durch Aufnahme in die Reihe des Corpus Christianorum geadelt zu haben. Nicht nur Ordenshistoriker werden dies zu schätzen wissen." (Ralf Lützelschwab, in: sehepunkte 17 (2017), Nr. 1 [15.01.2017], URL: http://www.sehepunkte.de
/2017/01/29029.html [visited: 24/01/2017])
Series Branch:
Corpus Christianorum
Corpus Christianorum Medieval Latin Series
Corpus Christianorum Continuatio Mediaevalis
Interest Classification:
Religion (including History of Religion) & Theology
Christian Church : religious orders
Christian Theology & Theologians
Scholastic (c. 1200-1500)
Classics, Ancient History, Oriental Studies
Latin literature
Medieval Latin literature

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