August 24, 2018
8.50 Inches (US)
5.50 Inches (US)
1.1 Pounds (US)
$75.00 USD
v2.1 Reference

The Standard Bearer of the Roman Church

Lawrence of Brindisi and Capuchin Missions in the Holy Roman Empire (1599-1613)

The Standard Bearer of the Roman Church examines the missionary work of the early modern Capuchin friar, and doctor of the Church, Lawrence of Brindisi. Renowned in his own day as a preacher, Bible scholar, missionary, chaplain, and diplomat, as well as vicar general of his order, Lawrence led the first organized, papally-commissioned Capuchin mission among the non-Catholics of Bohemia in the Holy Roman Empire from 1599 to 1602. He returned again under papal mandate, from 1606 to 1613. Andrew Drenas analyzes Lawrence's evangelistic and polemical strategies in central Europe in order to shed light on some of the ways the Capuchins labored in religiously divided territories to confirm Catholics in their faith and to win over heretics. The introduction explains, principally, the book's purpose and the historiographical background. After providing a brief biographical sketch of Lawrence's life followed by details of his afterlife, Drenas examines Lawrence's leading role in establishing the Capuchins' new Commissariate of Bohemia-Austria-Styria in 1600, and specifically its first three friaries in Prague, Vienna, and Graz. From there the volume moves on to treat his preaching against heresy, followed by a focus on how Lawrence, while in Prague, involved himself directly in theological disputations with two different Lutheran preachers. The first dispute, with Polycarp Leyser, took place in July 1607, and dealt with good works and justification. The second, with a Lutheran whose identity remains unknown, and which occurred in August 1610, concerned Catholic veneration of the Virgin Mary. This is followed by an analysis of the Lutheranismi hypotyposis, or The Express Image of Lutheranism, Lawrence's literary refutation of Lutheranism following additional contact with Polycarp Leyser in 1607. Finally, Drenas considers briefly the effectiveness of Lawrence's apostolate and closes with a review of the book as a whole.


"Andrew Drenas has written the first significant academic study in English of Lawrence of Brindisi, nominated by Clement VIII in 1599 as leader of the first Capuchin mission to Central Europe. Based on archival research in five countries in addition to Lawrence's own writings, the book provides us with a sense of the obstacles the mission faced in a confessionally divided territory and of Lawrence's dynamic, theatrical, and confrontational style of preaching and polemic. This is an important contribution to our understanding of the Catholic response to the Protestant challenge in early-modern Europe."—Nicholas Davidson, University of Oxford

"Andrew Drenas has produced a wonderfully rich, scholarly account of a multifaceted life that has hitherto not received the attention it manifestly deserved. Based on careful archival research, Drenas places Lawrence of Brindisi in his rightful place amid the confessional battlegrounds of early-modern Europe, leaving us with a memorable account of a pivotal figure of the Catholic Reformation."—Elaine Fulton, University of Birmingham

"The Standard Bearer of the Roman Church—based on a great deal of thorough and punctilious research in the many European archives and monasteries where the Laurentian documentation is scattered—is a significant contribution to our understanding of St. Lawrence of Brindisi's thought in relation to his context and the time in which he lived. . . . Drenas's precise historical reconstruction, although limited to a single phase of St. Lawrence of Brindisi's apostolic activity, is, beyond being a pleasure to read, an exemplary, careful, and thorough investigation into the thought of the Apostolic Doctor."—Paolino Zilio, Professor Emeritus of Fundamental Theology at the Laurentianum, Venice

"In The Standard Bearer of the Roman Church, Andrew J. G. Drenas thoroughly introduces the Capuchin missionary Lawrence of Brindisi to the Anglophone historiography of Catholic reform in central Europe. With Lawrence as a vehicle, Drenas makes an excellent case for why historians need to continue to search for new perspectives on the Catholic Reformation, and he ensconces himself solidly within the cadre of modern central Europeanist scholars who are leading the search for novel insights on this topic."—Church History

9780813230252 : the-standard-bearer-of-the-roman-church-drenas
280 Pages
$75.00 USD

Other Titles in HISTORY / Europe / Renaissance

A Companion to Margaret More Roper Studies

Elizabeth McCutcheon, William Gentrup
Sep 2022 - The Catholic University of America Press
$75.00 USD - Hardback

The Draining of the Fens

Eric H. Ash
Feb 2022 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$54.95 USD - Hardback
$39.95 USD - Electronic book text
$39.95 USD - Paperback / softback

Papal Bull

Margaret Meserve
Aug 2021 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$59.95 USD - Hardback
$59.95 USD - Electronic book text