Seven Dialogues, by Bernardino Ochino

Edited and Translated by Rita Belladonna - TT03

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Bernardino Ochino (1487-1564), the son of a Sienese barber, had a highly successful career within the Roman Catholic Church. He made meteoric progress in two religious orders, especially if one considers he also studied medicine for a time: he was Definitor General of the Franciscan Friars Observant and General of the Capuchins. He became so famous for his asceticism and preaching that Pope Paul III personally took charge of arranging Ochino’s speaking engagements. His public saw Ochino as the embodiment of the ideals of St. Francis. Some in religious orders agreed, others saw in him the Antichrist. The Dialogi sette, completed in 1542, are among Ochino’s few extant pre-exilic works and show how this master of the spoken word preached “Christ in a mask” for many years. By subtle use of the dialogue form Ochino was able to deal repeatedly with such controversial themes as justification by faith and the church of the elect. By 1542 Ochino could no longer safely stay in his beloved homeland for fear of the Inquisition. Contrary to his hopes, Ochino spent the last part of his life at odds with established Protestant theologians. In the end he died an outcast from mainstream Protestantism as well as Roman Catholicism.

Rita Belladonna is Associate Professor of Italian at York University. Her other works include numerous articles on the circulation of Protestant ideas in early sixteenth-century Siena, Alessandro Piccolomini’s L’Alessandro and George Chapman’s May-Day, Bartolomeo Carli Piccolomini and his imitation of Juan Valdés’ Alfabeto Cristiano and other related subjects.

96 pp.
ISBN: 978-0-919473-63-8 softcover
Published: 1988



Editorial Note

Notes to the Introduction

Select Bibliography

A Dialogue About How to Grow to Love God

A Dialogue About How to Achieve Happiness

A Dialogue About How a Man Should Best Govern Himself

A Dialogue About the Thief on the Cross

A Dialogue About the Need to be Converted Early

A Dialogue About the Pilgrimage to Heaven

A Dialogue About the Divine Profession of Faith

Notes to the Dialogues