Parution : 12/2023
Editeur : Brepols
ISBN : 978-2-5035-9334-0
Site de l'éditeur

A Cathedral of Constitutional Law

Essays on the Earliest Constitutions of the Order of Preachers, with an English Translation of Fr Antoninus H. Thomas’s 1965 Study

Sous la direction de Anton Milh, Mark Butaye

Présentation de l'éditeur

The Belgian Dominican friar Antoninus Hendrik Thomas published a critical reconstruction of the earliest Constitutions of the Dominican Order. He identified meticulously where Saint Dominic and his first brothers had borrowed material from other religious and secular juridical systems, as well as where they had been original, thus uncovering the foundational charism of the Order. Even today, researchers in the field regard Fr Thomas’s work as indispensable. Unfortunately, many of his insights are difficult to access for a wider audience, since Fr Thomas wrote his work in his native language, Dutch. To mark the eighth centenary of the death of Saint Dominic in 2021, the Belgian Dominican province therefore decided to publish Fr Thomas’s work in an English translation, as well as to complement this with a selection of essays written by contemporary experts, who – from their particular perspectives – engage with Fr Thomas’s main insights. The essays deal with the historiographical tradition to which Fr Thomas belonged, the Premonstratensian, Cistercian and secular sources of the Constitutions, the manuscript tradition and editing process of the earliest Constitutions, and their reception in the first century of the Order and by the late medieval observant movement.

Anton Milh is a Dominican brother of the Belgian-Dutch province. He holds a doctoral degree in theology and is an academic researcher at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, KU Leuven.

Mark Butaye is a Dominican brother of the Belgian-Dutch province. He studied theology at KU Leuven and was a student of Fr Antoninus H. Thomas. He worked as a pastor with migrants, prisoners and the poor.



Introduction, Anton-Marie Milh OP & Mark Butaye OP

PART I: Essays

Et ut maxima est Historiae necessitas, non minor est utilitas. Belgian Dominican Historians in the 19th and 20th Centuries
Anton-Marie Milh O.P.

État actuel des recherches sur les statuts de l’Ordre de Prémontré aux XIIe et XIIIe siècles
Herman Janssens O.Praem.

Les cisterciens et l’essor de la pratique statutaire, des origines au début du XIVe siècle
Alexis Grélois

Les dominicains, les collèges et les universités. Une pauvreté savante au XIIIe siècle
† Laurent Waelkens & Wouter Druwé

A Manuscript and Its Editions. AGOP XIV A4, folios 28r-47r
† Wolfram Hoyer O.P.

Les constitutions dominicaines au Moyen Âge. Histoire et perspectives éditoriales
Florent Cygler

La première législation dominicaine dans les récits fondateurs de la mémoire de l’Ordre
Anne Reltgen-Tallon

Reformatio or deformatio? The First Observant Friars and the Dominican constitutions in the Light of Henry of Bitterfeld’s Treatise on Reform of the Order
Anna Zajchowska-Bołtromiuk

PART II: Antoninus Hendrik Thomas OP, The Earliest Constitutions of the Dominicans. Antecedents, Text, Sources, Origins and Development (1215-1237), with an Edition of the Text. Translated into English by Brian Heffernan


Abbreviations and sigla

Chapter I. Antecedents. Monastic legislation up to the beginning of the thirteenth century

Chapter II. The text

Chapter III. The sources

Chapter IV. Origins and development

General conclusion


Appendix I. Text Edition

Appendix II. Comparative list of the chapters in the first distinctio of the Dominican text (C) and in the Constitutiones S. Mariae Magdalenae (M)

Appendix III. Comparative list of the chapters in the second distinctio of the Dominican text (C) and in that of the Friars of the Sack (S)

Appendix IV. The ordinances of the chapter of 1236 in the texts of the constitutions

Appendix V. Relationship of the various constitutions and manuscripts to the Constitutiones Antiquae O.P.

Appendix VI. Comparative list of the chapters in the first distinctio of the Dominican text (CA) and in the Consuetudines of Prémontré (Pa and Pb)

Appendix VII. The sources of the Dominican constitutions

Index of part II

508 pages.  124,00 €