Iniziazione Cristiana e Catechumenato
Giuseppe Cavallotto, priest of the diocese of Asti, Italy, has brought forth two fine books on the history of the catechumenate. Iniziazione cristiana e catecumenato collects a series of learned essays by diocesan priests; they sketch the history of the development of the catechumenate from the scriptures to the Second Vatican Council. Catcumenato antico explores the first six centuries in more detail. Cavallotto edited the first and authored the second.
Both books rely on a wealth of resources, all detailed in footnotes and bibliography. They rely on the best in recent scholarship. Although written at the level of a good college textbook, they are approachable to the average reader of Italian.
Catechumenato antico follows the usual technique of presenting this history. It groups the sources chronologically by region and explains them one by one. Iniziazione cristiana e catecumenato includes some pleasant surprises., including one essay on the efforts of Cardinal Santori to restore elements of the catechumenate in the late 15th century, and another on the post-World War II European community which laid the groundwork for the final restoration. Both books were published by Edizioni Dehoniane Bologna in 1996.
This review first appeared in Forum 15/3 and 16/1 (Spring, 1999(:11.