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The Royal Patronage of Liturgy in Frankish Gaul to the Death of Charles the Bald (Henry Bradshaw Society Subsidia) (Vol 3) [Hardcover]

By Yitzhak Hen (Author)
Our Price $ 59.50  
Retail Value $ 70.00  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   192
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.8" Width: 5.82" Height: 0.77"
Weight:   1.02 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   May 24, 2001
Publisher   Henry Bradshaw Society
ISBN  1870252152  
EAN  9781870252157  


Availability  0 units.


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Item Description...
This book concentrates on an aspect of the history of the Frankish liturgy - the royal patronage of liturgy - which is an important indicator of the cultural creativity and social development that characterised early medieval Francia. The patronage of liturgy in Frankish Gaul started in the Merovingian period. Yet it was the Carolingians, and foremost among them Charlemagne, who realised the political power within the patronage of liturgy and, therefore, used it to ease the formation and acceptance of new political ideals and structures. The examination of the royal patronage of liturgy in the Frankish kingdoms also provides a remarkable opportunity to re-examine some of the most persistent notions regarding the Frankish liturgy, such as the notion of a unified Carolingian liturgy and that of Romanisation of the Frankish rite. YITZHAK HEN is Lecturer in History at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel.

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More About Yitzhak Hen

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Yitzhak Hen was born in 1965.

Yitzhak Hen has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Cambridge Studies in Palaeography and Codicology


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Reviews - What do our customers think?
An important contribution to liturgical history  Jul 24, 2006
Throughout the twentieth century it was widely accepted by liturgical historians that the Carolingian monarchs (Pippin III and Charlemagne in particular), engaged in a sweeping Romanisation of their indigenous Gallican liturgical rites. This work challenges that assumption.

Hen argues that under Pippin III:

"New liturgical compositions were compiled, using both Roman and indigenous Frankish material, old liturgical compositions were updated and adapted to suit the Frankish use, and no official attempt to Romanise or unify the Frankish rite originated from the royal court."

That in Charlemagne's period:

"Roman books and liturgical practices were undoubtedly introduced into the Frankish kingdoms, both voluntarily and by legislation, but the traditional non-Roman rites were neither deliberately suppressed nor lost. Continuity in liturgical celebration is apparent, even when it seems that new practices were introduced or straightforwardly imposed on the Frankish Church."

And that in the reign of Louis the Pious liturgical scholars' work was "not innovation or reform, but clarification and explanation, addressed to the clergy and aimed at preserving and disseminating the `correct' rite."

All very well, one might say; an interesting piece of historical research. Certainly, Hen's scholarship is comprehensive, and is a significant contribution to the study of liturgical history. His introduction contains short essays on "The nature of liturgical studies" and "The nature of liturgical evidence" which are themselves important.

Non-specialist readers ought not be daunted: by his extensive notation Hen manages to keep the book's narrative remarkably clear and free from scholarly contention. This is a book for the interested reader as well as for the scholar.

A recurring theme, perhaps a little influenced by the contemporary penchant for `spin-doctoring,' is the political use Hen sees the Frankish monarchs making of the liturgy. One might ask whether the distinction between liturgy and politics was such that "using" the liturgy for political ends was a process of thought that would occur in this period, or whether the liturgy was not so integral to Frankish and to royal life that events we would today distinguish as "political," then found a less self-conscious and wholly natural liturgical expression?

However, this work has more than historical importance and interest. The prevailing assumption that Pippin III and Charlemagne unified and Romanised the liturgy on the sole basis of their authority is seen as ample precedent by some for later interventions by authority in liturgical development, which is of its nature organic: permitting development whilst maintaining substantial continuity.

J.D. Crichton, until his death the foremost English apologist for the postconciliar liturgical changes, described the Carolingian reform to this writer as an "earthquake," (i.e. the organic development of the liturgy was arrested, and its course substantially changed, as a direct result of the intervention of authority). In the light of this supposed precedent, Crichton, and many with him, found no difficulty in the seismographical similarities of the reforms enacted in the wake of Vatican II.

According to Hen's scholarship, Crichton and many late twentieth century reformers are wrong: there is no precedent in this period of the development of the liturgy in Frankish Gaul for abrogation of the law of the organic development of the liturgy by an authority - a thing, as Cardinal Ratzinger has pointed out, seen nowhere in the history of the Roman rite until the years following Vatican II. Thus this book is an important foundation to the current re-examination of late twentieth century liturgical reform of the Roman rite, called for by the same Cardinal.

This, and Boydell's fine production of the book, fully justify its price. It belongs in any serious liturgical library.
 

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