The decrees of the Roman congregations between past and future. State of the art and research perspectives


  • Date: Apr 22, 2024
  • Time: 03:00 PM - 07:00 PM (Local Time Germany)
  • Location: Turmcarrée
  • Host: Benedetta Albani (mpilhlt)
  • Contact:
The decrees of the Roman congregations between past and future. State of the art and research perspectives

The systematic issuance of decrees by the permanent cardinals' congregations of the Roman Curia undoubtedly marked an important turning point in the normative production of the Apostolic See, in the conduct of internal decision-making processes within the curia, in the definition of relations with local institutions and actors. Additionally, it contributed to the evolution of Canon Law in the early modern and contemporary age. New research groups, recent scientific projects and publishing initiatives show the renewed interest in these topics in recent years. This workshop is part of the initiative “An innovative experience of normative production. The decrees of the Roman congregations and their potential in legal-historical research” organised by Benedetta Albani (Research Group Normative knowledge in the praxis of the Congregation of the Council. The production of normative categories and models for the post-Tridentine world, mpilhlt), Matteo Al Kalak (Research Group “Digital Inquisition. Tools for Multimedia Access and Exploitation of the Archive of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith” PRIN 2022), Nicoletta Bazzano, Vittoria Fiorelli and Massimo Carlo Giannini (Research Group “Netex. NETworks and EXchanges within the Congregations of the Roman Curia: a Digital Analysis of the Early Roman Church Archives” PRIN PNRR 2022).

Starting from an open discussion on the state of research on the decrees of the Roman congregations from the perspective of an archival and historiographical investigation, the seminar will first of all look at the decrees in the broader context of Canon Law, the normative production of the Apostolic See and secular law. The different types of decrees issued in the course of time will therefore be explored, and the procedures for the formulation and approval of decrees will be analysed, with an attempt to identify recurrent practices among the different congregations and patterns in their formulation. The media used for the dissemination of decrees and the role of manuscript and printed compilations of decrees in the context of the administration of justice will also be discussed. Finally, the weight and role of the decrees of Roman congregations in local contexts will be examined and the main recipients of the decrees will be identified, analysing the actors and institutions involved. The meeting will end with an interactive activity to explore together the structure of the decrees from an archival and legal-historical perspective. This activity is preparatory to the seminar on the following day dedicated to the comparison and discussion of the data models of the participating research groups and scholars.

The workshop is also open to other research groups and scholars. However, given the specific nature of the topics and discussion, we encourage the participation of persons and groups actively involved in investigation related to the decrees of the Roman congregations and data modelling in the specific legal-historical context outlined above. For more information, and to propose your participation (in-presence or online), please write to Benedetta Albani

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