Place Published: Philadelphia
Publisher: Saint Joseph's University Press
Date Published: 1997
Book ID: 26
202 pages + foreward and introduction | 8.5 x 5.25 inches | 8 b/w images
No scholar has done more than the late Elisabeth C. Stopp to make St. Francis de Sales known, understood, and appreciated in the English-speaking world in the 20th century. This volume collects ten talks and essays by Dr. Stopp delivered or published over the past thirty years. These pieces focus on De Sales' education at the Jesuit Collège de Clermont in Paris, attitudes to friendship, literary art, ecumenism, reception in Anglican England, and links with other major figures of the Christian tradition, such as Francis of Assisi, Teresa of Ávila, and Cardinal Newman.
Upon her death in November 1996, The London Times described Dr. Stopp thusly: "A gifted scholar who achieved distinction in two quite different fields, Elisabeth Stopp was also a laywoman of quiet authority and influence in English Roman Catholicism." Dr. Stopp received her Ph.D. in 1937 from Cambridge, where she was later made a Fellow of Girton College and University Lecturer in Modern and Medieval Languages. In the area of Salesian studies, she published many articles and a half-dozen books, including St. Francis de Sales: Selected Letters (New York: Harper & Row, 1960), Madame de Chantal: Portrait of a Saint (London: Faber & Faber, 1962; Westminster, MD: Newman Press, 1963; Spanish translation, Madrid: Rialp, 1966), and St. Francis de Sales: A Testimony by St. Chantal (London: Faber & Faber, 1967). Dr. Stopp also published widely on German Romanticism. Recently, she completed an annotated translation of Goethe's Maxims and Reflections for the "Penguin Classics" series.
Dr. Stopp was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1963. In recognition of her scholarship in the field of Romanticism, she received in 1982 the medal of the Eichendorff-Gesellschaft. This is the first time the medal was awarded to a woman and a non-German. In 1986, she received the Cambridge Doctorate of Letters. Her Salesian work was recognized by the honor of Affiliation to the Order of the Visitation.
"For those interested in a short but informatively interesting introduction to St. François de Sales, this collection of articles and talks by Elisabeth Stopp, published in her memory, is a good place to start. Particular attention is devoted to St. François as instrumental in bringing to devotional writing a new style directed at a laity without formal grounding in the intricacies or complexities of theology, and Stopp describes, with the utmost clarity and precision, ways in which St. François paid close attention to matters of construction and style in his communication of spiritual matters. […] This collection adds up to a fascinating portrait of one of the great sources of spiritual renewal in seventeenth-century France and elsewhere."
Henry Philips, Modern Language Review
"This is a most attractive book and should appeal to a wide audience, both Catholic and Protestant. As an author, Dr. Stopp has some of her saint's qualities: a beautiful prose style, a capacity to 'heal differences' in charity without compromise of the truth, a lightness of touch that takes the reader into profound subjects almost without noticing. There is much here that is fresh and exciting."
John Saward, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Overbrook, PA
"As a scholar of Salesian spirituality, I often turn to the writings of Elisabeth Stopp to guide and inform me in my work. It was thus with anticipation that I began to read this collection. I was not disappointed. There is invaluable information here."
Wendy M. Wright, Creighton University
"The late Dr. Elisabeth Stopp's book on St. Francis de Sales, [...] as the title of this work suggests, has a message of perennial importance for Christians. [...] Not only is she very conversant with the saint's doctrine but she succeeds in bringing him to life for us through her insightful knowledge and study of Francis' personality as well as his friendship and inter-relation with others. [...] A particularly important aspect of Dr. Stopp's treatment of St. Francis is her focus on him as a minister of reconciliation, 'a man to heal differences' [...] at a time when religious polemics and the attendant hostilities were at the height of their intensity."
Patrick McCafferty, The Month
"This book will prove very beneficial to those who want a deeper appreciation of the saint's extraordinary ability for creating an ecumenical climate and for healing hearts deeply divided by religious difference."
Alexander T. Pocetto, O.S.F.S., Catholic Issues: An On-Line Journal