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Early Modern Catholicism

Early Modern Catholicism: Essays in Honour of John W. O'Malley, S.J.

Kathleen M. Comerford
Hilmar M. Pabel
Copyright Date: 2001
Pages: 336
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  • Book Info
    Early Modern Catholicism
    Book Description:

    The so-called Counter- or Catholic Reformation has traditionally been viewed as a monolith, but these essays decisively challenge this interpretation, emphasizing the variety, vitality, and complexity of Catholicism in the early modern era.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7420-2
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-xvi)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xvii-xvii)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. xix-xxvi)

    Professor John W. OʹMalley, S.J., requires no introduction to scholars of medieval and early modern Europe. His teaching, his scholarship, and his service to a community of scholars and students have earned him recognition and distinction beyond my abilities to praise. My purpose here, therefore, is not to introduce our distinguished colleague but simply to highlight the variety and vitality of his works. Most of OʹMalleyʹs admirers know him as a scholar. Many too know him as a servant of his profession and have benefited from his tireless service. Perhaps the fewest have had the privilege and the pleasure of...

  6. A Bibliography of John W. OʹMalleyʹs Scholarshipp
    (pp. xxvii-2)
  7. The Last Two Councils of the Catholic Reformation: The Influence of Lateran V on Trent
    (pp. 3-25)

    As noted by John W. OʹMalley, the Council of Trent (1545–63) is often, if improperly, seen as the central, defining event of sixteenth-century Catholicism. By its doctrinal canons the council reaffirmed and clarified Catholic teachings and by its disciplinary decrees it ordered the correction of abuses in the Catholic community, and thus supposedly the Council of Trent so set the Church upon a new course that some historians have even named the period that followed the Tridentine era. The council provided the first official definitions of the common teachings on justification and the Mass as sacrifice; it broke new...

  8. Humanism and Early Modern Catholicism: Erasmus of Rotterdamʹs Ars Moriendi
    (pp. 26-45)

    In 1534, Erasmus of Rotterdam published his advice on how to prepare for a pious death, theDe praeparatione ad mortem. Appearing in fifty-nine editions between 1534 and 1566, both in Latin and in vernacular languages, this ʹgreat printing successʹ of the sixteenth century in thears moriendigenre served as the most prominent humanist contribution to the contemporary discourse on dying and death.¹ More than sixty years ago, Marcel Bataillon complained that historians had neglected Erasmusʹs treatise.² Since the 1960s it has attracted the attention of a few scholars.³ More work still needs to be done, however, especially on...

  9. The Papacy in the Age of Reform, 1513–1644
    (pp. 46-66)

    Historians have traditionally treated the papacy in the Age of Reform, like the rest of the early modern history of Christianity, in religiously, intellectually, culturally, and politically polemicized terms. In a 1996 essay, I asserted that ʹfew historical commonplaces possess such staying power – if not canonical status – in post-Risorgimento Italy as the notion of the Counter-Reformation,ʹ a ʹrepressive, iron-fisted, autocratic and preferably foreignʹ movement that ʹshut down the reasoned, progressive, humanist-inspired Italian Renassance ... until individualism and nationalism ... combined to throw it off in the nineteenth-centuryʹ process of Italian unification.¹ When I said essentially the same thing...

  10. The Episcopacy in Sixteenth-Century Italy
    (pp. 67-83)

    By the beginning of the sixteenth century the Italian episcopacy was in a state of degeneration. Several factors account for this situation. The pre-Tridentine episcopacy was very much entrenched in the illustrious noble houses of Italy, which passed on the office from one family member to the other, along with the revenues that accompanied the bishopric. Thus, while theoretically the papacy made all appointments to the Italian sees, political considerations often prevailed, obliging the pope to appoint an individual acceptable to the nobles of a particular region.¹ While this was not unique to Italy, certain factors peculiar to the Italian...

  11. Calvin and Borromeo: A Comparative Approach to Social Discipline
    (pp. 84-96)

    Over the last quarter century, a paradigm shift has redirected the field of Reformation studies. Scholars from a range of historiographical backgrounds have suggested that we view the various reformations, Protestant and Catholic, as part of a larger process leading away from medieval Christianity, rather than as a centrifugal movement shattering Christian unity into a multitude of disparate fragments. Such historians as John Bossy, Jean Delumeau, Heinz Schilling, and Wolfgang Reinhard have pointed to the development of disciplinary systems as the crucial common trait in most confessional communities. While this insight has spawned a wealth of studies on ʹsocial discipline,ʹ...

  12. Overcoming Gender Limitations: The Daughters of Charity and Early Modern Catholicism
    (pp. 97-113)

    As I began work on this essay, it occurred to me how both my self-definition as a womenʹs historian and my characterization of the Daughters of Charity as a ʹCatholic Reformationʹ religious community have changed over time – due, in part, to the work of John OʹMalley. First, although womenʹs history has contributed greatly to the discipline of history, the topic of gender has more to tell us about the early modern period. Second, as we know from OʹMalleyʹs recent book, the phrase ʹCatholic Reformationʹ would be out of place in the title for my piece, because it has too...

  13. ʹPopular Catholicismʹ and the Catholic Reformation
    (pp. 114-130)

    The study of ʹpopular Catholicismʹ seems so recent a concern that we can easily forget its roots lie in the early modern period. The religious reformers of that time, who first singled out for special attention the religion of the people – the lower orders or the non-literate – did not refer to it as popular. For them, it was superstition or profanity as opposed to their supposedly more refined or spiritually elevated religion. Catholic critics of customary beliefs and practices, from sixteenth-century humanists like Erasmus to seventeenth-century Jansenists like Jean-Baptiste Thiers, defined a heretofore largely unrecognized distinction in religious...

  14. Confessionalization and Polemic: Catholics and Anabaptists in Moravia
    (pp. 131-146)

    Traditionally, the religious history of the second half of the sixteenth century was the preserve of confessional historians, for whom the arid theological debates and sharp polemics of the period retained some appeal. The last twenty years have seen an explosion of interest in the period from social historians. What has awakened their interest is a new approach to the period, one which looks for commonalities among the confessions and which seeks to place the religious history of the period in its social and political context. Impetus for this approach came from the work of Ernst-Walter Zeeden and Gerhard Oestreich....

  15. Sub Jugo Haereticorum: Minority Catholicism in Early Modern Europe
    (pp. 147-162)

    To livesub jugo haereticorum– ʹunder the yoke of hereticsʹ – was the lot of many Catholics in northern Europe after the dust of the Reformation had settled. In England, the Dutch Republic, the Scandinavian kingdoms, some Swiss cantons, and parts of the Holy Roman Empire, Protestant rulers assumed power and disestablished the Catholic Church in favour of an array of new ecclesiastical polities – Anglican, Lutheran, and Reformed. These new religious establishments had little use for those citizens who, for whatever reason, remained loyal to the faith that had dominated Europe for centuries. Consequently Catholics in Protestant Europe...

  16. Ignatius, Confratello: Confraternities as Modes of Spiritual Community in Early Modern Society
    (pp. 163-182)

    One of the great seductions of the archives is the ease with which they allow us to approach groups like confraternities as institutions having a fixed identity and purpose. A well-inventoried paper – or parchment – trail is compelling, even where fragmentary. Many of us follow that trail in case studies that document how individual confraternities originated, grew, matured, and decayed, what activities they undertook, what resources they accumulated and squandered, and how they interacted with civil and ecclesiastical authorities. Yet what of the members, and their use of the confraternity as a means of organizing their spiritual life, perhaps...

  17. Seeing the Place: The Virgin Mary in a Chinese Ladyʹs Inner Chamber
    (pp. 183-210)

    At the opening of the fourth week of hisSpiritual Exercises, Ignatius of Loyola, establishing the second prelude to the first contemplation, wrote: ʹA composition, by imagining the place. Here it will be to see the arrangement of the holy sepulcher; also, the place or house where Our Lady was, including its various parts, such as a room, an oratory, and the like.ʹ¹ When he wrote theExercisesin Manresa, Spain, during the 1520s, Loyola would never have imagined that ʹthe place or house where Our Lady wasʹ could take on Chinese form as shown inThe Annunciation(fig. 1),...

  18. The Jesuits and the Non-Spanish Contribution to South American Colonial Architecture
    (pp. 211-240)

    To all but the specialist, the colonial period architecture of South America seems at first impression to be little more than a provincial, if exotic, derivation of Spanish or Portuguese models. Until recent years, few scholars of Italian or German Renaissance and Baroque architecture would even consider extending their scope into this region, long treated by mainstream European and North American scholarship as an obscure subcategory of the Iberian world.¹ This separation is the product of an historical reality; through the late eighteenth century the colonial regimes of Spain and Portugal jealously protected their American possessions from travellers from non-Iberian...

  19. Clerical Education, Catechesis, and Catholic Confessionalism: Teaching Religion in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries
    (pp. 241-265)

    Historians acknowledge that the Reformation stemmed in part (how large a part remains a matter of debate) from discontent with the clergy: the behaviour of priests and their understanding of pastoral responsibilities often fell short of the ideal. Therefore, efforts to reform that clergy, both in Protestant and Catholic traditions, are at the heart of the religious changes of the so-called long sixteenth century. Building on a legacy of involvement in clerical and lay education on different levels of schooling and in response to the stinging accusations of clerical ignorance levelled by the Protestant Reformers, the Catholic Church set out...

  20. Some Unusual Genres of Sacred Music in the Early Modern Period: The Catechism as a Musical Event in the Late Renaissance – Jesuits and ʹOur Way of Proceedingʹ
    (pp. 266-279)

    Musicologists tend to ask why certain pieces of music exist in a certain number of manuscripts or prints, and how they were used in the historical epochs in which they appeared. In delving into these questions of musical function, one may attain a fuller understanding of musical meanings that reside within a broad cultural context. Music that changes and extends itself within a particular historical time frame can offer a focus on the complex reality of a culture, ultimately revealing a clearer understanding of human identity. Within the various genres of sacred music of the early modern period, especially in...

  21. Recovering the Apostolic Way of Life: The New Clerks Regular of the Sixteenth Century
    (pp. 280-296)

    By the time the Fathers of the Council of Trent passed this decree concerning clerical conduct in 1562, the demand for reform had already divided the Church in the West and fostered a variety of responses within the Roman Catholic Church collectively known as the ʹCatholic Reform.ʹ² The development of the various congregations of clerks regular, or reformed priests in the sixteenth century, particularly those founded in northern Italy, presents a unique perspective on the emergence of Early Modern Catholicism and constitutes at least part of the context from which the Tridentine reforms occurred.³ The origins, directions, plans for reform,...

  22. ʹShowing the Inventions of Godʹ: Preaching and Ritual on Holy Thursday at the Court of Pope Paul V
    (pp. 297-314)

    Twenty-five years ago, the long-held assumption that there was little to say (or littlegoodto say) about Catholic preaching before and during the Reformation was alive and well. With the publication of John OʹMalleyʹsPraise and Blame in Renaissance Rome, things began to look up for the history of Catholic preaching. OʹMalley found a vibrant preaching tradition at the Renaissance papal courts, innovative in its application of humanistic eloquence and instrumental in articulating a vision of Catholicism and the papacy for the early modern world, albeit one that was never quite realized. In subsequent articles, OʹMalley extended his analysis...

  23. Contributors
    (pp. 315-318)
  24. Index
    (pp. 319-324)