Archive

Posts Tagged ‘church history’

Looking at the Acta Sanctorum – Life of St Cuthbert

Acta Sanctorum Martii, vol. iii, (Antwerp, 1668), pp. 117

Acta Sanctorum Martii, vol. iii, (Antwerp, 1668), pp. 117

We welcomed University of Edinburgh MSc Medieval History students today for a tour of New College Library and the chance to see one of the texts they were studying, the Life of St Cuthbert, in New College Library’s first edition of the Acta Sanctorum,  which was on display in the Funk Reading Room. Published in the seventeenth century, the Acta Sanctorum, which contains the first printed edition of this work, is a huge Latin work in sixty-eight volumes examines the lives of saints, organised according to each saint’s feast day in the calendar year. This image shows the large folio volume, still in its original leather binding with metal clasps, open at the Life of St Cuthbert. The Acta Sanctorum is also available online to University of Edinburgh users.

John Calvin – Works and Correspondence now available online

By Flemish school (Unknown) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. On permanent display in Espace Ami Lullin of the Bibliothèque de Genève.

John Calvin 1509-1564. By Flemish school (Unknown) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
On permanent display in Espace Ami Lullin of the Bibliothèque de Genève.

Newly available to University of Edinburgh users is the online version of the Works of John Calvin, including the Institutes of the Christian Religion. This is the edition of the Institutes translated by Ford Lewis Battles and  published by Westminster Press in  1960. Also included are Calvin’s  Tracts and Treatises (3 vols.), translated by Henry Beveridge, originally published by the Calvin Translation Society (Edinburgh) in 1851,and Letters of John Calvin (4 vols.), edited by Dr. Jules Bonnet, translated by David Constable, originally published in 1855-57.  This online version complements the many printed editions of Calvin’s works which are available at New College Library.

Online access for University of Edinburgh users  is available via the Past Masters Database – see http://www.ed.ac.uk/is/databases-a-z under ‘P’.

This resource was purchased for the forthcoming Calvin in Context course at the School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh.

Online resources for Byzantine research on trial now

Two research resources for Byzantine history and culture are now on trial until 8 July for University of Edinburgh users.

ByzantineByzantinische BibliographieThe Prosopographie der mittelbyzantinischen Zeit Online/Prosopography of the Middle Byzantine Period Online (PMBZ Online) is a comprehensive biographical dictionary for the Byzantine Empire in the early Medieval Period (641-1025 AD) documenting more than 20,000 persons. PMBZ Online is based on the print edition of the Prosopographie der mittelbyzantinischen Zeit which appeared in two parts 1998 and 2013. PMBZ Online documents all persons mentioned either by name or anonymously in the relevant Byzantine and non-Byzantine sources, and secondly all persons mentioned in the Byzantine sources both from Western Europe and from the Arabic and Slavonic areas, together with those from the Christian East.

The Byzantinische Bibliographie Online includes the bibliographic sections of the Byzantinische Zeitschrift from volume 98 (2005) up to the present day. It contains around 30,000 entries in total, and each year about 4,000 entries will be added. The entries are organized systematically by subject area and enriched by short discussions and references to relevant review articles.

Access to the database is via http://www.ed.ac.uk/is/databases-trials. University of Edinburgh users have IP based access on campus, or off campus via the VPN.

The Case of Mr. Ebenezer Erskine, founder of the Secession church in Scotland

The Case of Mr Ebenezer Erskine B.a.b.1912

The Case of Mr Ebenezer Erskine
B.a.b.1912

Ebenezer Erskine (1680–1754), a founder of the Secession church, died in Stirling on 2 June 1754. A celebrated preacher,  his opposition to patronage, when a local landowner could choose the  parish minister without the approval of the people of the parish, set him against the established Church of Scotland.  In 1733 Erskine joined other Scottish ministers to form the Associate Presbytery, remaining in active ministry in Stirling. By 1742 the number of seceder congregations in Scotland had grown to twenty.

New College Library holds this pamphlet from 1733, recently catalogued online as part of the Funk Cataloguing Projects, which is typical of Erskine’s sermons published during the controversial times of the early 1730s.  New College Library also holds Erskine’s manuscript notebooks in the archives.

Sources

Digital Library of Latin Texts is now available

LLTLibrary of Latin Texts - Series BLibrary of Latin Texts (LLT) Series A & B  is now available  to University of Edinburgh Users. Access is available on campus and off campus via the VPN – find LLT on the A-Z Databases list or the Divinity subject list.

The Library of Latin Texts – Series A (formerly known as the Cetedoc Library of Christian Latin Texts) contains texts taken from the Corpus Christianorum series. These include the Vulgate and the Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, the complete corpus of decrees from the ecumenical Church councils from Nicaea to Vatican II and many Latin versions (ancient, medieval or modern) of works by Aristotle, Averroes, Avicenna, Dionysius the Areopagite, Flavius Josephus, Irenaeus of Lyon, Maximus the Confessor, Origen, Plato and Porphyrus. Each text draws on additional intensive research work undertaken by the Centre ‘Traditio Litterarum Occidentalium’. The complementary Library of Latin Texts – Series B database gathers other Latin texts of all genres and all periods including chronicles, medieval saints’ lives and travel narratives, legal texts, and theological, philosophical and scientific treatises from the early modern period, drawn from existing scholarly editions.

Iona Community 75th Anniversary display at New College Library

Iona Abbey
Photo taken by Jen Ross,  used by permission of the Iona Community

In May 2013 the Iona Community is celebrating the 75th anniversary of its foundation, and the 1450th anniversary of Columba’s arrival on the island of Iona.  The Iona Community was founded in 1938 by the Rev George MacLeod. It is an ecumenical Christian community of men and women from different walks of life and different traditions in the Christian church, aiming to come together to work for peace and social justice, rebuilding of community and the renewal of worship.

New College Library currently has a small display of publications about the Iona Community in the Funk Reading Room, including We shall re-build : the work of the Iona Community on mainland and on island / by George MacLeod, and  issues from The Coracle, the journal of the Iona Community. Current issues of The Coracle are also available online.

Early printed works of St Anselm on display at New College Library

Inc 27New on display in the Funk Reading Room is the Works of St Anselm,  Opuscula beati Anselmi archiepiscopi Ca[n]tuarie[n]sis ordinis Sancti Benedicti, printed in 1497.

April 21 is the Feast Day of St Anselm (1033-1109). A Benedictine monk who lived during the reigns of William the Conqueror and William Rufus, he became the abbot of the monastery at Bec in  Normandy, France. Named as Archbishop of Canterbury in 1093  by William Rufus, under the rule of Henry I Anselm faced the challenges of preserving the secular and spiritual rights of the Church in the face of the authority of the King. Despite these political difficulties, Anselm held two great ecclesiastical councils at Lambeth and York  where many decrees for church reform were made.

Anselm’s prayers and meditations (accessible online to University of Edinburgh users in the Patrologia Latina)  had a lasting influence through the middle ages, but his writings also made a significant contribution to theological debate into the twentieth century and beyond.

New College Library holds two copies of Anselm’s works in the Incunabula Collection, which was recently catalogued online as part of the Funk Cataloguing Projects.

Sources

D.H. Farmer, ‘Anselm (1033-1109)’, The Oxford Dictionary of Saints, Oxford University Press, 2011; online edn 2012 [http://www.oxfordreference.com, accessed 17 April 2013]