At the conclusion of his definitive study The Idea of Reform, which carved out reform as a distinct field of intellectual history, Gerhart Ladner stated that the idea of reform was "to remain the self-perpetuating core, the inner life spring of Christian tradition through lesser and greater times." Ladner himself sought to explore patristic theology and early Christian monasticism, and his insights laid the groundwork for a half-century of scholarship. Now, in celebration of the fiftieth anniversaries of the publication of The Idea of Reform and the Second Vatican Council, Reassessing Reform explores and critiques the enduring significance of Ladner's study, surveying new avenues and insights of more recent reform scholarship, especially concerning the long Middle Ages.
Contributors aim to reassess Ladner's historical and theological examination of the idea of reform in the Christian tradition, with a special focus on its meaning from the end of the patristic age to the dawn of modernity, through case studies and historiographical assessments. Many of the authors are not only scholars of history, but they also work intimately with church reform in their own everyday professional and faith lives.
This study brings together the following contributors: David Albertson, C. Colt Anderson, Ann W. Astell, Inigo Bocken, Gerald Christianson, Lester L. Field Jr., Ken A. Grant, John Howe, William V. Hudon, William P. Hyland, Dennis D. Martin, Louis B. Pascoe, S.J., Phillip H. Stump, and Michael Vargas.
ABOUT THE EDITORS:
PRAISE FOR THE BOOK
"This volume is a fitting look back to Ladner and his achievement. It shows the respect scholars have for him, but this is no blind reverence. There is much to be learned from Ladner, and these studies reform the way we look back at the medieval world and show that our minds can and should be always open to further reforming." --Catholic Historical Review
"This well-edited volume is marked by the uniformly high quality of all the contributions. It is a fitting tribute to the influential book that it celebrates." -Journal of Ecclesiastical History