Mysticism and Mariology

Mysticism and Mariology

Director Francesco Santi (Università di Cassino)

According to the methodological structure established by Claudio Leonardi, and with the assistance of Gianni Baget Bozzo, the FEF has focussed, from the beginning, much research attention on the history of mysticism, promoting studies on broad questions and themes as well as on individual authors (in particular, Angela of Foligno, Camilla Battista of Varano, Catherine of Siena, Catherine of Ricci, Catherine of Bologna, Domenica of Paradiso, Frances of Rome, Girolamo Savonarola, and Giovanna Maria della Croce).

In the scope of research on methods of electronic literature (at first in collaboration with the IBM Italia Foundation and ENEA-Campus), this department promoted workshops to improve the software used in the analysis of texts that refer to experiences of religious ecstasy. For this occasion, the works of Angela of Foligno and Clare of Assisi were put online.

The products of this research are gathered in the collection of texts and studies intitled «La mistica cristiana tra Oriente e Occidente» (Christian mysticism in the Orient and the Occident) launched in 2004 and open to the world of studies on the history of mysticism. Particularly noteworthy are the critical edition of the Opera omnia of Giovanna Maria della Croce (13 volumes planned) and the Repertory of the sources and bibliography for the study of female mysticism in Italy (one volume has been published and one is currently in progress).

On its own as well as jointly with other research institutes, the FEF organises conferences dedicated to the history of mysticism. Since 1992, the Foundation periodically holds a Workshop on the history and theology of mysticism.

Starting in 1997, inspired by Clelia Maria Piastra, we have been developing a special sector on studies of the sources of medieval Mariology, and conferences on this theme are held. The proceedings of the conferences on Mariology and in general the products of our scientific work - which focus on highlighting a category of sources that are unjustly neglected - are distributed through several collections.

In collaboration with the library of the FEF, we have promoted a campaign to photographically reproduce texts, both to support the work of our own research projects as well as to face the issue of conservation of these works. We have made accessible to scholars (on microfilm or in a digital copy format) the entire collection of the works of Giovanna Maria della Croce and of Domenica of Paradiso (the latter in collaboration with Florence's Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale).