Although perhaps best remembered as the Roman official who failed to keep Martin Luther in the Catholic fold in October 1518, Tommaso de Vio, Cardinal Cajetan (1469-1534) was a multi-faceted figure whose significance extends beyond those three difficult days in Augsburg. Had he retired at the age of fifty-five, he could have looked back on a productive life and a distinguished reputation as a philosopher, theologian and church leader. Instead he embarked on a labour of biblical commentary that was to occupy the final decade of his life, producing over a million words of translation and commentary on most of the biblical text. Offering an overview of this remarkable body of work, Oa Connor argues that Cajetana s motive was the reform of the church, and his method heavily inflected by renaissance humanism. In this, Cajetan can be seen as a preeminent example of the clerical embodiment of humanist-scholastic culture that prevailed at the papal court, and that his commentaries are more a work of a Catholic reforma than a Counter-Reformationa . To explore this thesis, the book addresses three main issues: first, Cajetana s approach to the biblical text was bold and fresh, attempting to purify the Vulgate of its accumulated errors and produce a translation as faithful as possible to the Hebrew and Greek truth. Second, Cajetan achieved his results by an almost exclusive attention to the literal sense of the biblical text that eschewed mystical or allegorical interpretations. Thirdly, Oa Connora s reading of the commentaries leads him to reappraise conventional understandings of Cajetana s motive in undertaking his exegetical project. Rather than assume Cajetan became a biblical commentator for polemical reasons, to engage the reformers in battle on their chosen territory of scripture, the book shows how Cajetana s motive is more diffuse and inclusive, and made use of the textual critical tools provided by humanist scholars to contribute to a widespread renewal of Christian living."
A Burnt Offering for God