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History & Aims

History  |  Aims

Today Corpus Christianorum has grown to become the comprehensive and excellent collection of critical editions, studies and reference works with which we are all very familiar.

In 1947 Dom Eligius Dekkers osb, of the Sint-Pietersabdij in Steenbrugge, drew up a plan for editing afresh early Christian texts. His intention was to produce in a short timespan a "Corpus Christianorum", comprising new editions of the writings of Christian authors from Tertullian through to the Venerable Bede. Although some critics thought the project to be impracticable, Dom Eligius found support from the outset in Brepols Publishers from Turnhout. Collaboration started in 1951 with the publication of a highly valued and essential tool, the Clavis Patrum Latinorum, which paved the way for the future success of the series. New editions followed from 1953 on and ever since Corpus Christianorum has continued to flourish. New series within Corpus Christianorum have been established and new volumes were ever more regularly published. Although in the early years the modus laborandi relied on updating existing editions, this was soon replaced by the preparation of entirely new critical editions. This demanding ambition required increasing supervision and, together with the establishment of new Corpus-related initiatives, it has been necessary to establish new academic partnerships, comprising leading scholars and academic centres, to supervise every single Corpus series.

Corpus Christianorum 1953-2003: Xenium natalicium, J. Leemans, L. Jocqué (eds.)
ISBN 978-2-503-51481-9

Some notable dates and events:

1947 Dom Eligius Dekkers draws up his initial plans and finds support from Brepols Publishers
1948 The first volume of the journal Sacris Erudiri is published
1951 The Clavis Patrum Latinorum (or CPL) by Dom Dekkers is published
1953 The first volumes in the Series Latina are published: Corpus Christianorum is born
1966
  • The first volumes in the Continuatio Mediaevalis are published
  • The first studies and dictionaries of A. Blaise appear
1969 Celebration of the 50th volume
1974 The Clavis Patrum Graecorum (pars 2) by M. Geerard is published
1976 The Centre for "Hellenisme & Christendom" at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven undertakes the academic oversight of the Series Graeca
1979 The "Thesaurus Patrum Latinorum" and "Instrumenta Lexicologica Latina" series are developed in collaboration with the Cetedoc department at the Université catholique de Louvain (at Louvain-la-Neuve) (hereafter UCL), a collaboration which continued since 2001 with its successor body, CTLO
1981 The "Association pour l'étude de la littérature apocryphe chrétienne" undertakes the academic oversight of the Series Apocryphorum
1989 The first monograph is published in the Lingua Patrum series
1990
  • The Institut Orientaliste (UCL) begins work on the Thesaurus Patrum Graecorum
  • The Clavis patristica pseudepigraphorum Medii Aevi is begun by J. Machielsen
1991
  • The Clavis Apocryphorum Novi Testamenti by M. Geerard is published
  • An agreement to publish the electronic Library of Latin Texts (CLCLT) is reached with Cetedoc (UCL), the work for which has been continued since 2001 by CTLO
1993 P.J. Fedwick starts a monograph series on the works of Basil of Caesarea
1994
  • G. Philippart starts a monograph series on the history of hagiographical literature
  • B. Merrilees and J. Monfrin start a series on Latin-vernacular dictionaries (LLF)
  • The IRHT in Paris (through the work of M.-H. Jullien & F. Perelman) starts a Clavis on French authors writing in Latin
1997 Establishment of the Academic Board for Latin Editions within Corpus Christianorum. First Director was F. Bossier (†2006)
Corpus Christianorum: In memoriam Fernand Bossier
ISBN 978-2-503-52441-2
1998 Dom Eligius Dekkers, founder of Corpus Christianorum, dies at the age of 83
2003 The 50th anniversary of Corpus Christianorum is celebrated by
2006-2007 Corpus Christianorum leaves the Sint-Pietersabdij in Steenbrugge and is transferred to the Sint-Annaconvent in the Turnhout beguinage
2006 Rita Beyers has been elected Director of Corpus Christianorum-Latin series for the period 2007 through till 2011, and re-elected on 7 January 2012 for another period of five years till 2016.
2012 Creation of the ‘Dom Eligius Dekkers Fund for the Edition and Transmission of Pre-Modern Texts & Ideas’.
2014 Reorganization of the Academic Board, which now supervises five newly installed Editorial Boards. These Boards are responsible for the publication of the Series Latina, the Continuatio Mediaevalis, the Claves, the Journal Sacris Erudiri and the CTLO products, respectively.
2015 First meeting of the enlarged Academic Board on 7 February 2015 in Turnhout.