Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Monday, 2 May 2011

New book on Canon Law

My friend Rhidian Jones has just had the second edition of his book The Canon Law of the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England : A Handbook published by Continuum. It costs £45.

My own knowledge of Canon Law is a mixture of the Corpus Juris Canonici that preceeds Pope Benedict XV's codification of 1917 ( a few years ago I went to a splendid series of lectures at Blackfriars on the development of medieval canon law), miscellaneous pieces of historical knowledge as a medievalist and practical knowledge from my days as an Anglican Churchwarden or as a tolerably well informed Catholic.

Rhidian's books appears to be an ideal digest of much that one would need to know in either communion, providing quick reference and accessibility to the current canon law of both churches. The entry for every canonical term gives its definition and the law relating to it in each canon. There are cross-references throughout to assist in making further connections.

He also includes terms not easily translated across the two canons, and some common terms from the Eastern Catholic Church,whilst the appendices contain changes to the Universal law of the Roman Catholic Church which are outside the 1983 Code of Canon Law.

In this second edition the contents have been revised significantly: of the 466 entries 80 have been updated or added.

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