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Cyprian believed that the maintenance of ecclesial disciplina was the prime responsibility of a bishop's pastoral ministry, particularly in a time of persecution when people's loyalty was under threat. Throughout his episcopate Cyprian ministered to women as well as men who experienced persecution. Not only was he attempting to secure socio-political support through patronage for his position as bishop but he was applying the prescriptions of the Gospels. He praised women who remained faithful as role models for others, instructed and encouraged them in their perseverance and aided them in their need. Women who lapsed were dealt with according to ecclesial disciplina no differently than were the men who lapsed. While lay women and men had their own share in pastoral ministry, the issue of what to do with lapsed Christians raised the question of the extent to which a bishop's responsibilities were primary. In some letters not by Cyprian we sense not only a greater degree of familiarity with lay people but less of a concern with the importance of disciplina. In response to a recent paper in this JOURNAL by Allen Brent, it is argued here that a close reading of these non-Cyprianic letters in the corpus reveals that the male and female confessors who wanted the lapsed to be reconciled did not consider themselves to be presbyters who could reconcile but thought of themselves as confessors with the right to tell the bishop of those whom he was to reconcile.
Scholars generally associate the Order of Apostles, founded around 1260 by Gerardo Segarelli in Parma, Italy, with medieval heresies. This article analyses the leading source for the first three decades of the Apostles, the chronicle of the Franciscan Salimbene de Adam of Parma, and casts Segarelli and the Apostle friars instead as thirteenth-century mendicants who rivalled the Franciscans in the Emilia, the Romagna and the March of Ancona. Salimbene's depiction of Gerardo Segarelli focuses on the chronicler's desire to recreate his rival as an inversion of Francis of Assisi and Franciscan ideals. Gerardo Segarelli emerges in the account as an anti-Francis. Yet only after 1274, when the Second Council of Lyons ordered a general suppression of all religious movements founded after Fourth Lateran in 1215, did the situation change slowly for Segarelli's followers as opponents began to question their obedience to papal authority. Gerardo Segarelli and the Apostle friars ultimately faced condemnation as heretics, but not before the 1290s. Salimbene's chronicle, written in the 1280s, should not be taken as a source for a ‘Segarellian heresy’ launched by a ‘heresiarch’ in the Joachite year 1260, but as a source for mendicant rivalry in the thirteenth century that was deeply passionate in its rhetoric and invective.
William Perkins, usually described as an Elizabethan Puritan, was significant in ways that are only beginning to be recognised by historians. His writings, published in numerous editions in England and on the continent and translated into Latin and half a dozen vernacular languages, made him the most prominent English theologian of his day. This article contends that his career was devoted not to bringing about changes in the Established Church but to making that Church's teachings better known and appreciated. Perkins should be seen as a leading apologist for the Elizabethan Church of England.
This essay examines the political and religious impetus behind Patriarch Meletios Metaxakis's recognition of Anglican orders in 1922. The furore surrounding recognition, the events that led up to it and the fall-out that followed shed light on the many difficulties faced by religious leaders in the post-war Orthodox world, difficulties that led to fierce jockeying among Orthodox clerics as they tried to establish themselves in relation to their coreligionists and to the larger Christian world. The controversy also offers insight into the problems inherent when a ‘comprehensive’ Church such as the Church of England enters into discussions with a more uniformly dogmatic confession such as Orthodoxy.
‘Habent sua fata libelli’. Had Einhard been able to contemplate the fate of his own libellus of 41 pages (in the standard modern edition) as revealed in Matthias Tischler's 1,828-page two-volume liber, the gamut of his responses from angst to wonderment would surely have included gratitude. In all the voluminous historiography on the Vita Karoli, no one has paid Einhard the compliment of taking his little book as seriously as has Tischler in bringing this Heidelberg doctoral thesis of 1998, now in expanded form, to a wider audience. The subtitle indicates the three dimensions of Tischler's vast enquiry: the immediate context of the VK's original writing, as Einhard responded creatively to an urgent political situation; the VK's own evolving life (if books have fates, Tischler says they also have lives) through preservation and transmission in an extraordinary number of manuscripts; and the VK's afterlife in its variegated reception across eight centuries by scribes, scholars and patrons. Tischler has taken his cue from the literary historian Paul Aebischer: ‘la Vita Karoli est un immense continent’. In Tischler, the improbable continent – vaster than ever realised before and with larger prospects of cultural riches – has found its hinterland explorer and topographer.