Recommended reading of our Library

Quiet place of study with a view of St Peter's

Recommended reading

After ten years of intensive research, Philippe Nuss, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Strasbourg, has published an exemplary study on St. Abbess Odilia, which he has brought to RIGG. Nuss' research focuses on hagiography of the early Middle Ages. According to her medieval vita, Odilia lived around 700. Nuss researches the spread of the cult from the 8th to the 12th century on the basis of all manuscripts of the vita and on the basis of calendars. The "German" Pope Leo IX (1049-1054) proves to be the driving force of the Odilia cult.

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Stefan Rebenich writes about the ancient historian Klaus Martin Girardet from Saarbrücken: like every ancient historian of his generation, he was "lastingly influenced by the equally stringent and differentiated reconstruction of Constantine the Great's religious policy, which he presented in numerous publications. His combination of philological precision and historical interpretation was - and still is - trend-setting" (p. 169 note 1). Now a Festschrift "Ecclesia victrix" has appeared in honour of Girardet, edited by Karen Aydin, Christine van Hoof and Lukas Mathieu.

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Prof. Michael Matheus from Mainz, former director of the German Historical Institute in Rome, presents the results of tens of years of research with contributions from various authors in a magnificent book with fascinating photos. Ninfa, the magical nymph city, is an excellent destination for an excursion to the south of Rome, because there is still a beautiful, extensive garden in splendid natural surroundings.

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The almost prophetic novel "Hadrian VII" (1904) by Frederic Rolfe - a must read! - reveals much not only about Jesuits, but also about the commitment of open-minded, modern popes to archaeology. The Papa Inglese Hadrian VII, after selling all the art treasures of the Vatican and thus securing the worldwide sympathy of socialists - he himself decides the price of each piece! -, promotes archaeology and calls on others to do the same:

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Perhaps it sounds unusual, but one can also see it this way: If the university subject of Christian archaeology is de-Christianising itself and - similar to Cologne removing the Cologne Cathedral from its city logo - now sails under the name "Archaeology of Late Antiquity", it should not be surprised if it finds less and less support and interest. The fact that at least the Vatican has its own Christian Archaeological Institute is an argument for considering the usefulness of the Church as a promoter of science. 

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The lectures of the RIGG conference "Cult of the People: The People in Liturgical Movements and Reforms - An Ecumenical Revision" has been published by the Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft and is now available. The editors are Markus Schmidt and Stefan Heid. The volume contains essays by Dieter Böhler, Harm Klueting, Andreas Bieringer, Dominik Burkard, Martin Wallraff, Uwe Michael Lang, Johannes Nebel, Alexander Deeg, Peter Zimmerling, Benjamin Leven and Helmut Hoping, among others.

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Hardly any pope was as pessimistic and at the same time as active as Gregory the Great (590-604). He saw the southern world - i.e. Italy - doomed by the storm of the Goths, but the Lombards, Franks and Spanish Visigoths turned to Roman Christianity. The shepherds - read: bishops - as Gregory imagined them were not politicians and humanists, but servants of the faithful people. He wrote his so-called Regula Pastoralis - Pastoral Rule - about this. It is now presented in a new german translation (with latin text) by the Trier patrologist Michael Fiedrowicz..

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The Order of St. John faced many challenges in the fifteenth century: its position in the Western Schism, the expansionist efforts of the Mamluks and the Ottomans, the real (physical) threat to the Order's seat in Rhodes and the consequent financial shortfall, as well as the ever-present threat to its internal constitution from disciplinary problems.

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