Councils and the World of Monasteries

The symposium on the history of councils with the theme: "Konzilien und die Welt der Klöster" (Councils and the world of monasteries" took place in Dresden from from 30th September to 02nd October 2021; the conference has been organized by the International Society for the History of Councils in cooperation with the Research Center for Comparative History of Religious Orders at the University of Dresden and the Saxon Academy of Sciences under the direction of Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Gert Melville and PD Dr. Mirko Breitenstein. The great importance of monasticism for the councils of the first millennium has been taken into account, as well as the contribution of the religious communities in the second millennium, where at the synods individual monks, but also theological schools that arose within the religious communities, have had great influence on doctrinal and disciplinary decrees. In addition, councils of all epochs have addressed the theological foundation and disciplinary order of religious life. The conference was originally scheduled for September 2020, but had to be postponed for a year due to the coronavirus crisis.

Here you can find the notice at H/SOZ/KULT, the programme and the picture gallery.

New entries

Dictionary of Councils

Provincial council of Santiago de Compostela 1324 (12th-21st November)

Justo Fernández, Jaime

New publications on the History of the Church Councils

Helmut Flachenecker (Hg.), Der Deutsche Orden auf dem Konstanzer Konzil. Pläne – Strategien – Erwartungen. VDG - Verlag und Datenbank für Geisteswissenschaften: Ilmtal-Weinstraße, 2020 (= Quellen und Studien zur Geschichte des Deutschen Ordens 84). 192 S. € 38,00. ISBN: 978-3-89739-944-0.


Table of Contents: Andrzej Radziminski, Der Deutsche Orden in Europa am Vorabend des Konzils von Konstanz (1) – Paul Srodecki, Mediating Actors in the Conflict between the Teutonic Order and the Kingdom of Poland in the Early Fifteenth Century (15) – Premysl Bar, Eine (un) genutzte Gelegenheit? Die Polnisch-litauische Union und der Deutsche Orden auf dem Konstanzer Konzil (1414 - 1418) (35) – Mats Homann, Der Blick des Deutschen Ordens auf das Konstanzer Konzil. Die Briefe des Generalprokurators Peter von Wormditt und des Hochmeisters Michael Küchmeister (55) – Läszlö Pösän, Die politischen Bestrebungen und Ziele Polen-Litauens auf dem Konstanzer Konzil (89) – Bernhart Jähnig, Johannes von Wallenrode und das Konstanzer Konzil (107) – Slawomirjözwiak und Janusz Trupinda, Zur Topographie und Raumordnung der Ordensburg Königsberg als Sitz der Komture, Obersten Marschälle und Hochmeister im Licht der mittelalterlichen Schriftquellen (127) – Nicholas w. Youmans, Seelenheil und Ritterehre. Vorstellung eines Forschungsprojekts zur Identität des Deutschen Ordens im Spiegel seiner Symbolhandlungen (157) – Orts- und Personenverzeichnis (176)  
For a review see H-Soz-Kult.

New entries

Dictionary of Councils

Provincial council  of  Burgos  1898

José María Cerveró García

New entries

Dictionary of Councils

Provincial council of Santiago de Compostela 1313

Jaime Justo Fernández

Willi Henkel OMI (1930-2020)

The Gesellschaft für Konziliengeschichtsforschung e.V. would like to remember a friend who passed away recently: P. Willi Henkel, who died at the age of 90 on the night of 19th November 2020, after contracting COVID-19. Born on 17th January 1930 in Wittges, near Fulda, Germany, he entered Maria Engelport, a daughter community of the Oblates of Hünfeld, in 1951.

After studying in Rome, he obtained a licence degree in Philosophy (in 1955) and in Theology (in 1959) at the Pontifical Gregorian University. He was ordained as a priest on 13th July 1958 and returned to Germany after completing his studies. From the beginning his life was marked by a vocation - no less deeply spiritual than intellectual - for the missions. After his doctorate in missiology at the Catholic University of Münster, with a thesis on the theology of conversion according to John Henry Newman, he came back to Rome and in 1966 began working in the Vatican editorial office of "Bibliotheca Missionum" and "Bibliografia Missionaria" alongside P. Johannes Rommerskirchen and P. Josef Metzler. In 1978 he was appointed successor to P. Rommerskirchen as Director of the Pontifical Missionary Library of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples in Piazza di Spagna, and later of the Library of the Pontifical Urbaniana University, since 1980 united in the new building in the Urbaniana complex on the Janiculum Hill. Since 1973 he has been Professor of History of the Missions at the same university and, since 1991, consultant to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

He retired in 2000 and returned to Germany, spending the last years of his life in the Oblate community in Hünfeld. He passed away during (and because of) the pandemic, leaving behind the imprint of an exemplary and hard-working Christian life, inflexibly measured by simplicity and humility.

New publications on the History of the Church Councils

Der Streit um Formosus. Traktate des Auxilius und weitere Schriften, hg. von Grabowsky, Annette, Wiesbaden 2021 ( = Monumenta Germaniae Historica - Quellen zur Geistesgeschichte des Mittelalters, 32) CCCLXII, 404 Seiten, 1 Abb., 7 Tabellen


“Only a few months after his death, Pope Formosus (891-896) was exhumed, placed on a throne and tried. The resistance of clerics consecrated by Formosus in the aftermath of this "Cadaver Synod ", under Pope Sergius III. (904-911) found their literary expression in pamphlets, most of which were written by a southern Italian cleric named Auxilius. His texts offer canonical arguments in defence of Formosus and the ordinations he conferred, in ever new compilations and using a variety of literary forms. These writings are central to the period around 900, which has recently been repeatedly understood as formative for the establishment of the papacy as an institution.

     The present edition contains for the first time a complete critical text of all the treatises of Auxilius as well as some texts from the same context of origin and transmission. It also offers a synopsis of the sources and originals, thus shedding light on legal knowledge in the area of Naples at the turn of the 10th century. In addition, the interconnections of the individual treatises and the development of the argumentation are made visible for the first time. Thus, not only does it become clear how contemporaries fought the dispute over Formosus, but also the nascent genre of the polemic, which was to experience a peak in the age of the investiture dispute, is examined more closely” (freely translated from the publisher's website).