Book Series Corpus Christianorum Continuatio Mediaevalis, vol. 259

Iohannes Soreth

Expositio paraenetica in Regulam Carmelitarum

Bryan D. Deschamp (ed)

  • Pages: 228 p.
  • Size:155 x 245 mm
  • Language(s):Latin, English
  • Publication Year:2016

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-54765-7
  • Hardback
  • Available


"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:
/2017/01/29029.html [visited: 24/01/2017])

"Grazie a questa preziosa edizione, che conclude un percorso iniziato nel 1973 con la tesi dottorale, gli studiosi hanno ora a disposizione un’opera che ha contribuito a definire l’identità dell’Ordine carmelitano particolarmente nei secoli XV e XVII." (Silvano Giordano, OCD, in: Teresianum 68 (2017/1) 207-209)

« Nous aimerions remercier encore B.D. pour son engagement et sa ténacité, avec lesquels il a terminé son travail en publiant une œuvre autrement destinée à l’oubli. » (Giovanni Grosso, dans Le Moyen Âge, 3-4, 2017, p. 641)




Bryan Deschamp was 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 (UC Louvain). After an international career Bryan's final move was back to Rome where he died at Ostia on 28 February 2017. His unfailing courtesy, patience and gracious hospitality are warmly remembered by his many friends.


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 uitae formula 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 uitae formula 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.



Albertus Hierosolymitanus patriarcha (Albertus Vercellensis, Albertus Avogadro) — Vitae formula (Epistula ad Brocardum) — ed. B. Deschamp

Iohannes Soreth — Expositio paraenetica — ed. B. Deschamp

Regulae monasticae — Regula Carmelitarum sec. textum servatum cum Iohannis Soreth 'Expositione paraenetica' — ed. B. Deschamp