Jotischky, Andrew 1965-

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JOTISCHKY, Andrew 1965-

PERSONAL: Born September 8, 1965, in London, England; son of Laszlo (a radio journalist) and Helma (Repczuk) Jotischky. Education: Corpus Christi College, M.A., 1986; Yale University, M.Phil., 1988, and Ph.D. Religion: Roman Catholic.

ADDRESSES: Office—Department of History, University of Lancaster, Lancaster LA1 4YG, England. Agent—Peter Tauber, 94 E. End Rd., London N3 2SX, England. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: University of Lancaster, Lancaster, England, senior lecturer in history, 1995—.

WRITINGS:

Marco Polo's Tears (novel), Halban, 1989.

The Perfection of Solitude: Hermits and Monks in the Crusader States, Pennsylvania State University Press (University Park, PA), 1995.

The Carmelites and Antiquity: Mendicants and Their Pasts in the Middle Ages, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2002.

Crusading and the Crusader States, Pearson/Longman (New York, NY), 2004.

Also author of novel Perceval, 1991.

SIDELIGHTS: Andrew Jotischky is a scholar of the monastic orders of the Middle Ages. His The Perfection of Solitude: Hermits and Monks in the Crusader States is a study of how monastic settlements were established in the Middle East during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, a time when crusaders had secured much of the Holy Land for European Christians. Jotischky's The Carmelites and Antiquity: Mendicants and Their Pasts in the Middle Ages examines the Carmelite order in particular, the only religious order to have been founded in the Crusader States.

The Perfection of Solitude looks at both the formal religious communities and individual hermits who settled in the Holy Land during the time of the Crusades. "Jotischky seeks out the motives which impelled the faithful of Western Europe to dedicate themselves to the religious life in the Holy Land, and he examines the nature of their existence there," as K. E. Garay explained in the Canadian Journal of History. He particularly traces the settling of hermits on Mount Carmel and the subsequent development from this settlement of the Carmelite Order, a history skimpily documented. Along the way, he also looks at the profound effect the Holy Land had on visitors of the time. One hermit from England, for example, claimed he had found "supernal happiness" in Jerusalem. "Jotischky's book," Henrietta Leyser wrote in the English Historical Review, "is rich in observation and original insights." Jonathan Riley-Smith in the Journal of Ecclesiastical History found that "Jotischky has original and perceptive things to say which are of relevance to the general history of Catholic religious orders."

Jotischky's The Carmelites and Antiquity: Mendicants and Their Pasts in the Middle Ages examines the origins of the Carmelites, who were founded by hermits living on Mount Carmel. Because the holy mountain is associated with the prophet Elijah, there later developed a tradition that the Carmelites had in fact been founded by Elijah. Jotischky describes how the Order's lack of a clear founder led to its reliance on a mythical history. In later years, when the hermits were forced out of the Holy Land and into Western Europe, this mythical history served to protect them from those who sought to suppress the order. Robert Lerner in the Times Literary Supplement called Jotischky's narrative "clear and thorough" and particularly praised his "insightful comparisons with myth-making in the rival Orders."

Jotischky further established himself as a leading authority of the Carmelites and of the Middle Ages with the publication of The Carmelites and Antiquity: Mendicants and Their Pasts in the Middle Ages, and Crusading and the Crusader States. Frances Andrews, reviewing The Carmelites and Antiquity in The Journal of Ecclesiastical History, wrote that Jotischky "provides an illuminating and important account of their own sense of history and its intricate relationship with their struggle to establish and maintain an identity in the west."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

periodicals

American Historical Review, December, 1996, review of The Perfection of Solitude: Hermits and Monks in the Crusader States, p. 1533; April, 2004, Malcolm Barber, review of The Carmelites and Antiquity: Mendicants and Their Pasts in the Middle Ages, p. 593.

Canadian Journal of History, April, 1996, K. E. Garay, review of The Perfection of Solitude, p. 92.

Catholic Historical Review, July, 1996, review of The Perfection of Solitude, p. 537.

Choice, October, 1995, review of The Perfection of Solitude, p. 311.

Church History, December, 1997, review of The Perfection of Solitude, p. 795; December, 2003, Joseph P. Byrne, review of The Carmelites and Antiquity, p. 878.

English Historical Review, June, 1997, Henrietta Leyser, review of The Perfection of Solitude, p. 708; February, 2004, Henrietta Leyser, review of The Carmelites and Antiquity, p. 169.

History: Review of New Books, winter, 1996, review of The Perfection of Solitude, p. 93; spring, 2003, Francis R. Swietek, review of The Carmelites and Antiquity, p. 121.

Journal of Ecclesiastical History, April, 1997, Jonathan Riley-Smith, review of The Perfection of Solitude, p. 341; July, 2004, Frances Andrews, review of The Carmelites and Antiquity, p. 341.

Journal of Religion, January, 1997, Keith J. Egan, review of The Perfection of Solitude, p. 132.

Medieval Review, February 8, 1997, review of The Perfection of Solitude.

Reference & Research Book News, February, 2005, review of The Carmelites and Antiquity, p. 31.

Speculum, April, 1996, review of The Perfection of Solitude, p. 442.

Sword, Volume 56, Numbers 1 and 2, 1996, John F. Russell, review of The Perfection of Solitude.

Times Literary Supplement, June 30, 1989; September 27, 2002, Robert Lerner, review of The Carmelites and Antiquity, p. 31.

Utopian Studies, winter, 2003, Derk Visser, review of The Carmelites and Antiquity, p. 216.

online

Lancaster University, http://www.lancs.ac.uk/ (July 26, 2005), author's Home Page.*