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Archbishop Oscar Romero
A Disciple Who Revealed the Glory of God
Damian Zynda
University of Scranton Press, 2010

During his lifetime, Archbishop Oscar Romero chose to live the Christian Gospel in a radical way, defending, supporting, and serving the poor, and confronting the oppressive and murderous violence of the Salvadoran dictatorship. As a result, in March 1980, while celebrating Mass in a small chapel in El Salvador, he was assassinated.

With Archbishop Oscar Romero, Damian Zynda offers a compelling examination of the bishop’s eventful life. Zynda delves into the psychological and spiritual depths of Romero’s faith, tracing its progression from age thirteen up to the episcopacy and his prophetic stand against the government.


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Between Church and State
The Lives of Four French Prelates in the Late Middle Ages
Bernard Guenée
University of Chicago Press, 1990
For the past several decades, French historians have emphasized the writing of history in terms of structures, cultures, and mentalities, an approach exemplified by proponents of the Annales school. With this volume, Bernard Guenée, himself associated with the Annalistes, marks a decisive break with this dominant mode of French historiography. Still recognizing the Annalistes' indispensable contribution, Guenée turns to the genre of biography as a way to attend more closely to chance, to individual events and personalities, and to a sense of time as people actually experienced it. His erudite, lively, elegantly written study links in sequence the lives of four French bishops, illuminating medieval and early modern history through their writings.

Guenée chooses as his frame the momentous period from the height of Saint Louis's reign in the mid-thirteenth century to the beginning of the Italian wars two hundred years later. During this time of schism in the church, of war between nascent states, and of treachery among princes, Bernard Gui (1261-1331), Gilles Le Muisit (1272-1353), Pierre D'Ailly (1351-1420), and Thomas Basin (1412-1490) all rose from modest circumstances to the dignity of office. Guenée shows us how these prelates used their talent, ambition, patrons, zeal, and experience to juggle the competing demands of obedience to church and state; to overcome competition from an upcoming new generation; and to cope with plague, war, and violence. Free of jargon yet steeped in learning, Between Church and State reveals the career patterns and politics of an era while forging a new model for points of departure in historical scholarship.

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Bishop Henry Mcneal Turner And African-
Stephen W. Angell
University of Tennessee Press, 1992
Henry McNeal Turner was an "epoch-making man, " as his colleague Reverdy Ransom called him. A bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Church from 1880 to 1915, Turner was also a politician and Georgia legislator during Reconstruction, U.S. Army chaplain, newspaper editor, prohibition advocate, civil rights and back-to-Africa activist, African missionary, and early proponent of black theology. This richly detailed book, the first full-length critical biography of Turner, firmly places him alongside DuBois and Washington as a preeminent visionary of the postbellum African-American experience. The strength and vitality of today's black church tradition owes much to the herculean labors of pioneers such as Turner, one of the most skillful denominational builders in American history. When emancipation created the prerequisites for a strong national religious organization, Turner, with his boldness, charisma, political wisdom, eloquence, and energy, took full advantage of the opportunity. Combining evangelicalism with forthright agitation for racial freedom, he instigated the most momentous transformation in A.M.E. Church history--the mission to the South. Stephen Angell views Turner's advocacy of ordination for women and his missionary work in Africa as a further outgrowth of the bishop's deep evangelical commitment. The book's epilogue offers the first serious analysis of Turner's theology and his replies to racist distortions of the Christian message.

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Bishops and Bodies
Reproductive Care in American Catholic Hospitals
Lori Freedman
Rutgers University Press, 2023
One out of every six patients in the United States is treated in a Catholic hospital that follows the policies of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. These policies prohibit abortion, sterilization, contraception, some treatments for miscarriage and gender confirmation, and other reproductive care, undermining hard-won patients’ rights to bodily autonomy and informed decision-making. Drawing on rich interviews with patients and providers, this book reveals both how the bishops’ directives operate and how people inside Catholic hospitals navigate the resulting restrictions on medical practice. In doing so, Bishops and Bodies fleshes out a vivid picture of how The Church’s stance on sex, reproduction, and “life” itself manifests in institutions that affect us all.

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Bishops, Bourbons, and Big Mules
A History of the Episcopal Church in Alabama
J. Barry Vaughn
University of Alabama Press, 2013
Tells the story of how the Episcopal Church gained influence over Alabama’s cultural, political, and economic arenas despite being a denominational minority in the state

The consensus of southern historians is that, since the Second Great Awakening, evangelicalism has dominated the South. This is certainly true when one considers the extent to which southern culture is dominated by evangelical rhetoric and ideas. However, in Alabama one non-evangelical group has played a significant role in shaping the state’s history. J. Barry Vaughn explains that, although the Episcopal Church has always been a small fraction (around 1 percent) of Alabama’s population, an inordinately high proportion, close to 10 percent, of Alabama’s significant leaders have belonged to this denomination. Many of these leaders came to the Episcopal Church from other denominations because they were attracted to the church’s wide degree of doctrinal latitude and laissez-faire attitude toward human frailty.

Vaughn argues that the church was able to attract many of the state’s governors, congressmen, and legislators by positioning itself as the church of conservative political elites in the state--the planters before the Civil War, the “Bourbons” after the Civil War, and the “Big Mules” during industrialization. He begins this narrative by explaining how Anglicanism came to Alabama and then highlights how Episcopal bishops and congregation members alike took active roles in key historic movements including the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the Civil Rights Movement. Bishops, Bourbons, and Big Mules closes with Vaughn’s own predictions about the fate of the Episcopal Church in twenty-first-century Alabama.

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Bishops, Community and Authority in Late Roman Society
Northwestern Hispania, c. 370-470 C.E.
Rebecca Devlin
Amsterdam University Press

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Bishops, Councils, and Consensus in the Visigothic Kingdom, 589-633
Rachel L. Stocking
University of Michigan Press, 2001
The medieval Visigothic kingdom--even after the full-scale conversion of the population from Arianism to Catholicism--was barely held together by a fluctuating mixture of tradition inherited from Roman law, Germanic and provincial influences, local custom, and Catholic values. In her study of a society riddled with instability and conflicting paradigms of power, Rachel Stocking dissects the social meaning of consensus in the early medieval state. Using the compelling example of contemporary records and by drawing out the often-conflicting aspirations of kings and bishops, she addresses the dynamic and contradictory relationship between the ideals of Christian governance and early medieval social conditions.
This eloquently presented, exhaustive study concludes that legislation, however persistently enacted, was unequal to the task of remedying a lack of unity and other social and political ills. Notions of consensus are explored as a way of maintaining community cohesion and order in the absence of strong central authorities. Other issues the author confronts are Catholic tolerance and intolerance toward heterodox and non-Christian "others;" the transformation and transmission of ancient ideals and social structures from the Roman to the later medieval worlds; and the position of medieval Spain in relation to the mainstream of western European history.
This nuanced study is a must-read for anyone interested in medieval life, politics, religion, and the precarious nature of the medieval state.
Rachel Stocking is Professor of History, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

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Black Bishop
Edward T. Demby and the Struggle for Racial Equality in the Episcopal Church
Michael J. Beary
University of Illinois Press, 2001

America’s first Black bishop and his struggle to rebuild the African American presence inside the Episcopal Church

In 1918, the Right Reverend Edward T. Demby took up the reins as Suffragan (assistant) Bishop for Colored Work in Arkansas and the Province of the Southwest, an area encompassing Arkansas, Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and New Mexico. Set within the context of a series of experiments in black leadership conducted by the Episcopal Diocese of Arkansas in the early decades of the twentieth century, Demby's tenure in a segregated ministry illuminates the larger American experience of segregation disguised as a social good.

Intent on demonstrating the industry and self-reliance of black Episcopalians to the church at large, Demby set about securing black priests for the diocese, baptizing and confirming communicants, and building schools and other institutions of community service. A gifted leader and a committed Episcopalian, Demby recognized that black service institutions, such as schools, hospitals, and orphanages, would be the means to draw African Americans back to the Episcopal Church, which they had abandoned in droves after emancipation as the church of their former masters.

For more than twenty years, hamstrung by white apathy, lack of funds, jurisdictional ambiguity, and the Great Depression, Demby doggedly tried to establish the credibility of a ministry that was as ill-conceived as it was well intended. Michael J. Beary skillfully narrates the shifting alliances within the Episcopal Church and shows how race was but one aspect of a more elemental struggle for power. He demonstrates how Demby's steadiness of purpose and non-confrontational manner gathered allies on both sides of the color line and how, ultimately, his judgment and the weight of his experience carried the church past its segregationist experiment.


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Bonds of Wool
The Pallium and Papal Power in the Middle Ages
Steven A. Schoenig
Catholic University of America Press, 2016
The pallium was effective because it was a gift with strings attached. This band of white wool encircling the shoulders had been a papal insigne and liturgical vestment since late antiquity. It grew in prominence when the popes began to bestow it regularly on other bishops as a mark of distinction and a sign of their bond to the Roman church. Bonds of Wool analyzes how, through adroit manipulation, this gift came to function as an instrument of papal influence. It explores an abundant array of evidence from diverse genres - including chronicles and letters, saints' lives and canonical collections, polemical treatises and liturgical commentaries, and hundreds of papal privileges - stretching from the eighth century to the thirteenth and representing nearly every region of Western Europe. These sources reveal that the papal conferral of the pallium was an occasion for intervening in local churches throughout the West and a means of examining, approving, and even disciplining key bishops, who were eventually required to request the pallium from Rome.

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The Book of Pontiffs of the Church of Ravenna (Medieval Texts in Translation)
Deborah Mauskopf Agnellus of Ravenna
Catholic University of America Press, 2004
This translation makes this fascinating text accessible for the first time to an English-speaking audience. A substantial introduction to Agnellus and his composition of the text is included along with a full bibliography

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Confessions, Volume I
Books 1–8
Harvard University Press, 2014

The classic account of crisis and conversion.

Aurelius Augustine (AD 354–430), one of the most important figures in the development of western Christianity and philosophy, was the son of a pagan, Patricius of Tagaste, and his Christian wife, Monnica. While studying to become a rhetorician, he plunged into a turmoil of philosophical and psychological doubts, leading him to Manichaeism. In 383 he moved to Rome and then Milan to teach rhetoric. Despite exploring classical philosophical systems, especially skepticism and Neoplatonism, his studies of Paul’s letters with his friend Alypius, and the preaching of Bishop Ambrose, led in 386 to his momentous conversion from mixed beliefs to Christianity. He soon returned to Tagaste and founded a religious community, and in 395 or 396 became bishop of Hippo.

Confessions, composed ca. 397, is a spiritual autobiography of Augustine’s early life, family, personal and intellectual associations, and explorations of alternative religious and theological viewpoints as he moved toward his conversion. Cast as a prayer addressed to God, though always conscious of its readers, Confessions offers a gripping personal story and a philosophical exploration destined to have broad and lasting impact, all delivered with Augustine’s characteristic brilliance as a stylist.

This edition replaces the earlier Loeb Confessions by William Watts.


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Confessions, Volume II
Books 9–13
Harvard University Press, 2016

The classic account of crisis and conversion.

Aurelius Augustine (AD 354–430), one of the most important figures in the development of western Christianity and philosophy, was the son of a pagan, Patricius of Tagaste, and his Christian wife, Monnica. While studying to become a rhetorician, he plunged into a turmoil of philosophical and psychological doubts, leading him to Manichaeism. In 383 he moved to Rome and then Milan to teach rhetoric. Despite exploring classical philosophical systems, especially skepticism and Neoplatonism, his studies of Paul’s letters with his friend Alypius, and the preaching of Bishop Ambrose, led in 386 to his momentous conversion from mixed beliefs to Christianity. He soon returned to Tagaste and founded a religious community, and in 395 or 396 became bishop of Hippo.

Confessions, composed ca. 397, is a spiritual autobiography of Augustine’s early life, family, personal and intellectual associations, and explorations of alternative religious and theological viewpoints as he moved toward his conversion. Cast as a prayer addressed to God, though always conscious of its readers, Confessions offers a gripping personal story and a philosophical exploration destined to have broad and lasting impact, all delivered with Augustine’s characteristic brilliance as a stylist.

This edition replaces the earlier Loeb Confessions by William Watts.


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Conflict and Negotiation in the Early Church
Letters from Late Antiquity, Translated from the Greek, Latin, and Syriac
Bronwen Neil
Catholic University of America Press, 2020
Recent decades have seen great progress made in scholarship towards understanding the major civic role played by bishops of the eastern and western churches of Late Antiquity. Brownen Neil and Pauline Allen explore and evaluate one aspect of this civic role, the negotiation of religious conflict.

Conflict and Negotiation in the Early Church focuses on the period 500 to 700 CE, one of the least documented periods in the history of the church, but also one of the most formative, whose conflicts resonate still in contemporary Christian communities, especially in the Middle East.

To uncover the hidden history of this period and its theological controversies, Neil and Allen have tapped a little known written source, the letters that were exchanged by bishops, emperors and other civic leaders of the sixth and seventh centuries. This was an era of crisis for the Byzantine empire, at war first with Persia, and then with the Arab forces united under the new faith of Islam. Official letters were used by the churches of Rome and Constantinople to pursue and defend their claims to universal and local authority, a constant source of conflict. As well as the east-west struggle, Christological disagreements with the Syrian church demanded increasing attention from the episcopal and imperial rulers in Constantinople, even as Rome set itself adrift and looked to the West for new allies.

From this troubled period, 1500 letters survive in Greek, Latin, and Syriac. With translations of a number of these, many rendered into English for the first time, Conflict and Negotiation in the Early Church examines the ways in which diplomatic relations between churches were developed, and in some cases hindered or even permanently ruptured, through letter-exchange at the end of Late Antiquity.

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The Education of Phillips Brooks
John F. Woolverton
University of Illinois Press, 1995
Brooks's theological and intellectual lineage

The Education of Phillips Brooks probes the formative years of one of the best-known figures of Victorian America's "Gilded Age". Rigorously researched, bringing as yet untapped archival material into play, John F. Woolverton's book is an extremely readable and fascinating look at a gifted, persuasive clergyman and public figure. The sermon Brooks delivered at his Holy Trinity Church in Philadelphia while Abraham Lincoln's body lay in state overnight in Independence Hall was published, making him nationally famous overnight. He also is known for penning the lyrics to "O Little Town of Bethlehem". Although Brooks was not a major theologian, he was nurtured in an atmosphere of serious religious thought. In the crisis era of pre-Civil War America, he sought a religious and cultural ideal in the "perfect manhood" of Jesus Christ and consequently "won a name" for himself, as his slightly envious cousin, Henry Adams, once remarked. Woolverton places Brooks in his cultural context and shows how this religious leader was shaped psychologically and by his times and how those factors helped him forge a spiritual ideal for a troubled nation.

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Epiphanius of Cyprus
Imagining an Orthodox World
Young Richard Kim
University of Michigan Press, 2015
Epiphanius of Cyprus offers the first complete biography in English of Epiphanius, lead bishop of Cyprus in the late fourth century CE and author of the Panarion, a massive encyclopedia of heresies. Imagining himself a defender of orthodoxy, he became an active heresy-hunter, involving himself in the most significant theological and ecclesiastical debates of his day.

Young Richard Kim studies the bishop as a historical person and a self-constructed persona, as mediated within the pages of the Panarion. Kim’s “micro-readings” of the Panarion present a close look at autobiographical anecdotes, situated in historical contexts, that profoundly shaped both Epiphanius’ character and how he wanted his readers to perceive him. “Macro-readings” examine portions of the Panarion that reflected how Epiphanius imagined his world, characterized by an orthodoxy that had existed since Creation and was preserved through the generations. In the final chapter, Kim considers Epiphanius’ life after the publication of the Panarion and how he spent years “living” the pages of his heresiology.

Kim brings a more balanced perspective to a controversial figure, recognizing shortcomings but also understanding them in light of Epiphanius’ own world. The bishop appears not as a buffoon, but as someone who knew how to use the power of the rhetoric of orthodoxy to augment his own authority. Quintessentially late antique, he embodied the contentious transition from the classical past to the medieval and Byzantine worlds.

This book will be of broad interest to students and scholars of ancient history, classics, and religious studies.

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Episcopal Power and Florentine Society, 1000–1320
George W. Dameron
Harvard University Press, 1991

This first detailed study of the bishops of Florence tells the story of a dynamic Italian lordship during the most prosperous period of the Middle Ages. Drawing upon a rich base of primary sources, George Dameron demonstrates that the nature of the Florentine episcopal lordship results from the tension between seigneurial pressure and peasant resistance. Implicit throughout is the assumption that episcopal lordship relied upon both the bishop’s jurisdictional power and his spiritual or sacramental power.

The story of the Florentine bishops illuminates important moments in Italian history. The development of the Florentine elite, for example, is closely tied to the political and economic privileges they derived from their access to ecclesiastical property. A study of the bishopric’s vast holdings in the major river valleys surrounding Florence also provides valuable insight into the nature of the interrelation between city and countryside. Comparisons with lordships in other Italian cities contrast with and define the nature of medieval lordship.

This economic, social, and political history addresses issues of concern to a wide audience of historians: the emergence of the commune, the social development of the nobility, the nature of economic change before the Black Death, and the transition from feudalism to capitalism.


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Fragments of a World
William of Auvergne and His Medieval Life
Lesley Smith
University of Chicago Press, 2023
The first modern biography of medieval French scholar and bishop William of Auvergne.
Today, William of Auvergne (1180?–1249) is remembered for his scholarship about the afterlife as well as the so-called Trial of the Talmud. But the medieval bishop of Paris also left behind nearly 600 sermons delivered to all manner of people—from the royal court to the poorest in his care. In Fragments of a World, Lesley Smith uses these sermons to paint a vivid picture of this extraordinary cleric, his parishioners, and their bustling world. The first modern biography of the influential teacher, bishop, and theologian, Fragments of a World casts a new image of William of Auvergne for our times—deeply attuned to both the spiritual and material needs of an ever-changing populace in the medieval city.

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Isidore of Seville and his Reception in the Early Middle Ages
Transmitting and Transforming Knowledge
Edited by Andrew Fear and Jamie Wood
Amsterdam University Press, 2015
Isidore of Seville (560—636) was a crucial figure in the preservation and sharing of classical and early Christian knowledge. His compilations of the works of earlier authorities formed an essential part of monastic education for centuries. Due to the vast amountof information he gathered and its wide dissemination in the Middle Ages, Pope John Paul II even named Isidore the patron saint of the Internet in 1997. This volume represents a cross section of the various approaches scholars have taken toward Isidore’s writings. The essays explore his sources, how he selected and arranged them for posterity, and how his legacy was reflected in later generations’ work across the early medieval West. Rich in archival detail, this collection provides a wealth of interdisciplinary expertise on one of history’s greatest intellectuals.

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Lord Bishop
The Life of Samuel Wilberforce, 1805–1873
Standish Meacham
Harvard University Press, 1970

“Samuel Wilberforce,” writes Standish Meacham, “is best remembered as Soapy Sam, the bishop who debated Huxley on evolution and lost. He always insisted his nickname derived from the fact that though many times in hot water he emerged in every case with clean hands. Others had a less flattering explanation. They believed he was inordinately ambitious and that he trimmed to a line dictated by ambition.”

In this volume Meacham presents the first scholarly biography of Wilberforce, a prominent bishop in the Church of England from 1845 to 1873. Drawing upon source materials only recently made available to scholars, the author traces through correspondence and diaries the life of this outstanding Victorian Churchman, describing at the same time the theological temper of the period. Meacham’s emphasis, however, is on Wilberforce as a human being. He reveals his subject in a variety of roles: as favorite, for a time, of Victoria and Prince Albert; as staunch Churchman; as debater in the House of Lords; as a conscientious bishop traveling from one end of his diocese to the other, exerting his considerable energies to raise church funds, encourage his often dispirited clergy, and admonish his flock; and as a sometimes vigorous adversary of Tractarianism.

During the times in which Wilberforce lived, especially the last decade or so of his life, the old orthodoxies were losing their force and new discoveries and modes of thought were breaking down religious certainties. Meacham describes the spiritual struggle Wilberforce waged against Darwinism and higher criticism. He depicts also the private struggle of an essentially good man against the temptations of power and ambition, and the difficulties entailed in the dual role of Churchman and member of the House of Lords whose associates were almost wholly of the privileged class.


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The Road to Renewal
Victor Joseph Reed and Oklahoma Catholicism, 1905–1971
Catholic University of America Press, 2008
The Road to Renewal offers an important contribution to the study of Catholicism in the 1960s. Grounded in thorough archival research, the book breaks new ground in its examination of the implementation of Vatican II at the diocesan level.

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Rome’s Most Faithful Daughter
The Catholic Church and Independent Poland, 1914–1939
Neal Pease
Ohio University Press, 2009

When an independent Poland reappeared on the map of Europe after World War I, it was widely regarded as the most Catholic country on the continent, as “Rome’s Most Faithful Daughter.” All the same, the relations of the Second Polish Republic with the Church—both its representatives inside the country and the Holy See itself—proved far more difficult than expected.

Based on original research in the libraries and depositories of four countries, including recently opened collections in the Vatican Secret Archives, Rome’s Most Faithful Daughter: The Catholic Church and Independent Poland, 1914–1939 presents the first scholarly history of the close but complex political relationship of Poland with the Catholic Church during the interwar period. Neal Pease addresses, for example, the centrality of Poland in the Vatican’s plans to convert the Soviet Union to Catholicism and the curious reluctance of each successive Polish government to play the role assigned to it. He also reveals the complicated story of the relations of Polish Catholicism with Jews, Freemasons, and other minorities within the country and what the response of Pope Pius XII to the Nazi German invasion of Poland in 1939 can tell us about his controversial policies during World War II.

Both authoritative and lively, Rome’s Most Faithful Daughter shows that the tensions generated by the interplay of church and state in Polish public life exerted great influence not only on the history of Poland but also on the wider Catholic world in the era between the wars.


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A Sacred Kingdom
Bishops and the Rise of Frankish Kingship, 300-850
Michael Edward Moore
Catholic University of America Press, 2011
Drawing on the records of nearly 100 bishops' councils spanning the centuries, alongside royal law, edicts, and capitularies of the same period, this study details how royal law and the very character of kingship among the Franks were profoundly affected by episcopal traditions of law and social order.

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The Story of Radio Mind
A Missionary's Journey on Indigenous Land
Pamela E. Klassen
University of Chicago Press, 2018
At the dawn of the radio age in the 1920s, a settler-mystic living on northwest coast of British Columbia invented radio mind: Frederick Du Vernet—Anglican archbishop and self-declared scientist—announced a psychic channel by which minds could telepathically communicate across distance. Retelling Du Vernet’s imaginative experiment, Pamela Klassen shows us how agents of colonialism built metaphysical traditions on land they claimed to have conquered.
Following Du Vernet’s journey westward from Toronto to Ojibwe territory and across the young nation of Canada, Pamela Klassen examines how contests over the mediation of stories—via photography, maps, printing presses, and radio—lucidly reveal the spiritual work of colonial settlement. A city builder who bargained away Indigenous land to make way for the railroad, Du Vernet knew that he lived on the territory of Ts’msyen, Nisga’a, and Haida nations who had never ceded their land to the onrush of Canadian settlers. He condemned the devastating effects on Indigenous families of the residential schools run by his church while still serving that church. Testifying to the power of radio mind with evidence from the apostle Paul and the philosopher Henri Bergson, Du Vernet found a way to explain the world that he, his church and his country made.
Expanding approaches to religion and media studies to ask how sovereignty is made through stories, Klassen shows how the spiritual invention of colonial nations takes place at the same time that Indigenous peoples—including Indigenous Christians—resist colonial dispossession through stories and spirits of their own.

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Ukrainian Bishop, American Church
Martha Bohachevsky-Chomiak
Catholic University of America Press, 2018
Constantine Bohachevsky was not a typical bishop. On the eve of his unexpected nomination as bishop to the Ukrainian Catholics in America, in March 1924, the Vatican secretly whisked him from Warsaw to Rome to be ordained. He arrived in America that August to a bankrupt church and a hostile clergy. He stood his ground, and chose to live а simple missionary life. He eschewed public pomp, as did his immigrant congregations. He regularly visited his scattered churches. He fought a bitter fight for the independence of the church from outside interference – a kind of struggle between the Church and the state, absent both. He refashioned a failing immigrant church in America into a self-sustaining institution that half a century after his death could help resurrect the underground Catholic Church in Ukraine, which became the largest Eastern Catholic church today. This trailblazing biography, based on recently opened sources from the Vatican, Ukraine and the United States, brings the reader from the placid life of the married Catholic Ukrainian clergy in the Habsburg Empire to industrial America.

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Unity in Christ
Bishops, Synodality, and Communion
Archbishop Anthony Fisher, OP
Catholic University of America Press, 2023
What does episcopal fraternity and communio look like? This central question is explored through the erudition and experience of Archbishop Anthony Fisher, Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Australia. Unity in Christ, based upon a series of addresses given to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) at their Special Assembly in 2022, delves into the themes associated with episcopal unity. By surveying the Christian tradition, beginning with the scriptures and then through various periods (Apostolic generation, patristic, scholastic, Vatican II, recent post Vatican II developments such as synodality) a coherent picture of episcopal togetherness is presented. What becomes clear is that unity among Christ’s disciples and their successors is not simply an ideal but rather a constitutive element of their office. They are called to love as Christ loved, expressed above all through genuine friendship with one another. The consequences of this fraternity and communio have implications in areas such as spirituality, preaching and fraternal correction, among others. This second feature, the implications of episcopal fraternity and communio, are explored through Archbishop Fisher’s twenty years of experience as a bishop of the Catholic Church. By providing concrete examples of lived episcopal fraternity and communio, Fisher offers a glimpse into both the challenges and fruits of living out Christ’s call that "they might all be one" (Jn 17:21).

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Victim of History
Cardinal Mindszenty, a biography
Margit Balogh
Catholic University of America Press, 2022
“Victim of history,” “a martyr from behind the Iron Curtain,” “the Hungarian Gandhi” – these are just some of the epithets which people used to describe Cardinal Mindszenty, archbishop of Esztergom, who was the last Hungarian prelate to use the title of prince primate. Today, Mindszenty has been forgotten in most countries except for Hungary, but when he died in 1975, he was known all over the world as a symbol of the struggle of the Catholic Church against communism. Cardinal Mindszenty held the post of archbishop of Esztergom from 1945 until 1974, but during this period of almost three decades he served barely four years in office. The political police arrested him on December 26, 1948, and the Budapest People’s Court subsequently sentenced him to life imprisonment. Based on the Stalinist practice of show trials, one of the accusations against Mindszenty, referring to his legitimist leanings, was his alleged attempt to re-establish Habsburg rule in Hungary. He regained freedom during the 1956 revolution but only for a few days. He was granted refuge by the US Embassy in Budapest between November 4, 1956 –September 28, 1971. In the fifteen years he spent at the American embassy enormous changes took place in the world while his personality remained frozen into the past. When in 1971 Pope Paul VI received the Hungarian foreign minister, he called Mindszenty “the victim of history”. His last years were spent free at last, but far away from his homeland. In Hungary, the Catholic believers eagerly await his beatification.

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Writing Ravenna
The Liber Pontificalis of Andreas Agnellus
Joaquin Martinez Pizarro
University of Michigan Press, 1995
The subject of Writing Ravenna is the Liber Pontificalis Ecclesiae Ravennatis, composed by Agnellus Andreas, a priest of Ravenna, between 830 and 845 C.E. The Liber Pontificalis has often been studied as a source for ecclesiastical and art history, but hardly ever as a literary creation, in spite of its originality and importance.
Writing Ravenna is an attempt to deal with this work's literary significance and specifically with what it tells us about the creation and circulation of narrative in the Early Middle Ages. The book's first chapter analyzes the ways in which the local and international interests of the Ravenna clergy are reflected in the design, genre, and narrative rhetoric of the Liber. The second chapter characterizes the specific textuality, given that the Liber was composed for oral delivery. The final chapter offers translations of the four most interesting narrative sequences in the Liber, followed by full analyses of sources, narrative technique, and ideological aims.
Writing Ravenna will be of interest to a broad spectrum of scholars, including art historians, scholars of late antiquity and the Early Middle Ages, religious historians, and literary critics.
Joaquin Martinez Pizarro is Associate Professor of English, State University of New York at Stony Brook. He is also the author of A Rhetoric of the Scene: Dramatic Narrative in the Early Middle Ages.

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