SBU’s Franciscan Institute Enters Digital Publication Consortium

HNP Communications Around the Province

ALLEGANY, N.Y. — The Franciscan Institute at St. Bonaventure University, where F. Edward Coughlin, OFM, is interim director, is entering the digital publication world. The institute’s publications division announced last month its participation in a groundbreaking initiative that will allow its books to be distributed electronically to libraries, researchers and students worldwide.

A New Consortium
Franciscan Institute Publications is a member of the newly created University Press Content Consortium, which launches Jan. 1, 2012. The consortium is a merger of two major university press e-book initiatives — Project MUSE Editions and the University Press E-book Consortium.

UPCC allows e-books from more than 65 university presses and non-profit scholarly presses — representing as many as 15,000 titles — to be searched along with content from journals already on MUSE.

According to SBU, the project will benefit users by providing research materials, journal collections and university press book content in one place.

Known for many years for its critical editions of leading medieval Franciscan philosophers and theologians, Franciscan Institute Publications has worked to broaden distribution of modern scholarship on the history, spirituality and intellectual tradition of the Franciscan movement to a wider audience.

A New Translation
Also last month, Franciscan Institute Publications announced the release of a new book written by Fr. Robert Karris, OFM, a research professor at the institute and a member of Sacred Heart Province.

Translation of Peter of John Olivi’s Commentary on the Gospel of Mark explores the work of the Provencal Franciscan who lectured for most of his academic life at Franciscan study houses, especially in the south of France. His commentary on Mark stems from his lectures, according to Fr. Robert, who also includes his own translations of Albert the Great’s commentary on Gospel passages from Mark.

Fr. Robert gives readers insight into Olivi’s 13th-century classroom using his introduction and notes on his translation of the commentary, according to a news release on SBU’s website. It is definitely a Franciscan classroom, he says: “In many of Olivi’s comments about Christ’s disciples, he seems to have left behind the historical disciples of the 1st century and is talking to his present-day disciples.”

Fr. Robert is currently working on an annotated translation of Olivi’s Commentary on the Gospel of Luke. The critical edition runs to 500 pages, according to Jim Knapp of SBU.

The Commentary on the Gospel of Mark can be ordered by emailing or faxing 716-375-2113.

According to its website, the institute “stands as the preeminent center in North America of teaching, research and publication on the history, spirituality and intellectual life of the Franciscan movement.”

More information about Franciscan Institute Publications, the publishing arm of the institute, is available on its website.

— Wendy Healy is a freelance writer based in Connecticut.