Monday, 13 January 2020

International Bibliography of Spirituality Online

Centrum Informationis Totius Ordinis Carmelitarum (CITOC)
Notice posted 29th December 2019
Presentation of the “Bibliographia Internationalis Spiritualitatis Online” (BIS Online)
On the 11th of December, at the Pontifical Theological Faculty of the Teresianum, there was a presentation of the “Bibliographia Internationalis Spiritualitatis Online” (BIS Online – International Bibliography of Spirituality Online). This is the emergence in a new form of the important and very well known “Bibliographia Internationalis Spiritualitatis”, pubished over many years by the Teresianum, up until 2006 when it ceased. Now there has been an agreement between the Teresianum and the Institutum Carmelitanum to publish online the bibliography in the area of spiritual theology, with particular reference to Carmelite interests, from 2007 onwards. The venture was made possible by the collaboration of the Brepols publishing house, who made their information system available to help set up a proper database, with open access for the moment, and which already contains some 9000 titles. The project will continue as new titles are added, but it is already available for consultation at this website address: <>. The presentation began with a welcome by the President of the Teresianum, Fr. Denis Chardonnens, OCD, and Fr. Giovanni Grosso, O.Carm., President of the Institutum Carmelitanum, partners in the “BIS Online” project. Frs. Christof Betschart, OCD, and Lukasz Strzyż-Steinert, OCD then explained the project, by speaking about how it began and what its prospects are. Mr. Axel Alt, the principal bibliographer of the “BIS Online”, explained how the website works and the possibilities it offers in terms of bibliographical research. The main talk on the significance and present state of Carmelite studies was given by the Superior General of the Discalced Carmelites and Chancellor of the Pontifical Theological Faculty of the Teresianum, Fr. Saverio Cannistrà, OCD.

Presentación de la “Bibliographia Internationalis Spiritualitatis Online” (BIS Online)
El pasado 11 de diciembre tuvo lugar en la Pontificia Facultad Teológica “Teresianum” la presentación de la “Bibliographia Internationalis Spiritualitatis Online” (BIS Online). Se trata de la reanudación en un nuevo formato de la célebre e importante “Bibliographia Internationalis Spiritualitatis”, que se ha ido publicando durante varios decenios por el “Teresianum”, pero que se interrumpió en el 2006. Ahora se ha puesto en marcha la colaboración entre el “Teresianum” y el “Institutum Carmelitanum” para publicar online la bibliografía relativa a la teología espiritual, de modo particular en el ámbito carmelitano, a partir del 2007. Esta iniciativa ha sido posible gracias a la colaboración de la casa editora Brepols, que ha puesto a disposición su propia plataforma informática para crear una base de datos, actualmente de open access, en la que ya se han incluido cerca de 9.000 títulos. El proyecto continúa con la introducción de nuevos títulos, pero ya puede consultarse en la página <>.
La presentación fue introducida por el saludo del Presidente de “Teresianum” ”, P. Denis Chardonnens, OCD, y del P. Giovanni Grosso, O.Carm., Presidente del ”Institutum Carmelitanum”, socio del proyecto “Bis Online”. El P. Christof Betschart, OCD, y el P. Lukasz Strzyż-Steinert, OCD, presentaron el proyecto, exponiendo su génesis y perspectivas, y a su vez el señor Axel Alt, principal bibliógrafo del “Bis Online” expuso el funcionaamiento de la página y las posibilidades para la búsqueda bibliográfica. La conferencia principal, sobre el sentido y la situación de los estudios en el Carmelo, corrió a cargo del Prepósito General de la Orden de los Carmelitas Descalzos y Gran Canciller de la Pontificia Facultad Teológica “Teresianum”, P. Saverio Cannistrà, OCD.

Presentazione della “Bibliographia Internationalis Spiritualitatis Online” (BIS Online)
Lo scorso 11 dicembre, presso la Pontificia Facoltà Teologica del “Teresianum” è stata presentata la “Bibliographia Internationalis Spiritualitatis Online” (BIS Online). Si tratta della ripresa sotto nuova veste della celebre e importante “Bibliographia Internationalis Spiritualitatis”, pubblicata per diversi decenni dal “Teresianum”, ma purtroppo ferma al 2006. Ora, si è attivata la collaborazione tra il “Teresianum” e l’”Institutum Carmelitanum” per pubblicare online la bibliografia relativa alla teologia spirituale, in particolare di ambito carmelitano, a partire dal 2007. L’iniziativa è stata resa possibile dalla collaborazione della casa editrice Brepols, che ha messo a disposizione la propria piattaforma informatica per creare un database, al momento open access, in cui sono già stati inseriti circa 9.000 titoli. Il progetto prosegue con l’inserimento di nuovi titoli, ma è già consultabile al sito <>. La presentazione è stato introdotta da un saluto del Preside del “Teresianum”, P. Denis Chardonnens, OCD, e di P. Giovanni Grosso, O.Carm., preside dell'”Institutum Carmelitanum”, partner del progetto “BIS Online”. P. Christof Betschart, OCD, e P. Lukasz Strzyż-Steinert, OCD, hanno presentato il progetto, illustrandone la genesi e le prospettive, mentre il signor Axel Alt, bibliografo principale del “BIS Online”, ha illustrato il funzionamento del sito e le possibilità di ricerca bibliografica. La relazione principale, sul senso e la situazione degli studi nel Carmelo è stata tenuta dal Preposito Generale dell'Ordine dei Carmelitani Scalzi e Gran Cancelliere della Pontificia Facoltà Teologica “Teresianum”, P. Saverio Cannistrà, OCD.

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Notices of new Carmelite books (4) PHILIP HARVEY

Damien Peile, the Provincial Delegate for The Carmelite Family, issues a Monthly News via email.  These bulletins include my own notices or brief reviews of books of interest to readers in Carmelite spirituality and history. Here are two more. Philip Harvey.

The Carmelite Order is unusual in having a Rule composed not by a founder or member of the Order, but by Albert, Patriarch of Jerusalem, early in the 13th century. The Library has several translations of the Rule, including one by the previous librarian, Paul Chandler. The cultural and political world of the eastern Mediterranean during this time of crusades is a constant presence in the Carmelite historical imagination. Mount Carmel is central, but so too is Mount Zion. The Library is dedicated to collecting works that inform us of that period of religious ferment.

‘Jerusalem, 1000-1400 : every people under heaven’ (Yale University Press, 2016, ISBN 9781588395986) is the magnificent folio-size catalogue of an ambitious exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York:    Patrons and artists from Christian, Jewish, and Islamic traditions alike focused their attention on the Holy City, endowing and enriching its sacred buildings and creating luxury goods for its residents. The results are here to enjoy at your leisure. Essays and discussions on more than 200 works of medieval art describe in fascinating detail the material world which would have been instantly familiar to the earliest Carmelites.

-          Philip Harvey (May 2019)     

Michelle Jones lives and works in the Porongurup Range in southern Western Australia. She is also a consecrated woman affiliated with the Carmelite Monastery of Quidenham in Norfolk, England. Her book on one of the contemplative nuns of that community has just been published: ‘The gospel mysticism of Ruth Burrows : going to God with empty hands’ (Washington, D.C., ICS Publications, 2018, ISBN 978-1-939272-51-5) It is the first full-scale study of Sister Rachel of Quidenham, i.e. Ruth Burrows, a woman described by Ronald Rolheiser as “one of the renowned spiritual writers of our time.”

Rolhesier says elsewhere in the book’s Foreword, “She challenges us to live a mystically driven life.” He answers his own question: “Can we be practising mystics? Yes, and Ruth Burrows tells us how … Mysticism is being touched by God at a level that is deeper than what we can understand, articulate, imagine, or even affectively feel.” The book follows her growing understanding of spiritual life before talking in depth about what she calls “the Yes of Jesus Crucified”. Michelle Jones opens up new ways of reading and understanding her subjects, which are Sister Rachel and the spiritual life itself.

-          Philip Harvey (February 2019)

Two books: Rowan Williams & Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

Two holiday reading recommendations from Philip Harvey published in The Melbourne Anglican, December 2019

Biography, selective by nature, may reveal as much about the biographer as its subject. The twenty lives attended to in ‘Luminaries’ (SPCK, 2019) are written by Rowan Williams to “illuminate the Christian way.” They also sparkle with his original insights and present preoccupations. “We can’t plan to be difficult and unique saints,’ he says of Florence Nightingale, “We manage normally to be rather average sinners.” Or of the modern Carmelite saint and philosopher, Edith Stein: “Go far enough with the disciplines of this world in honesty and integrity, and God is waiting for you.” His account of Meister Eckhart’s sermon style could be self-descriptive: “An unusual mixture – both very colloquial and relaxed and extremely intricate and technical.” These brief lives are models of concise meaning.  

“As love is union, it knows no extremes of distance.” A favourite poetry discovery this year is the Mexican Phoenix, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. Like other 17th century poets, say John Donne, she moves confidently between sacred and profane. Such was her love of learning from an early age, Sor Juana finally went to one of the few places where this passion could be met for a woman of her time: she entered the convent. “I don’t study to know more, but to ignore less.” The church was uncomfortable with this feminist and controversialist, even conducting an inquisition. She acquitted herself, according to one observer, as “a royal galleon might fend off the attacks of a few kayaks.” Edith Grossman’s translations (Norton, 2014) deliver lively poetic access to her varied thought. Once met, hard to forget.