Becoming A New Self: Practices Of Belief In Early Modern Catholicism by Sluhovsky, MosheBecoming A New Self: Practices Of Belief In Early Modern Catholicism by Sluhovsky, Moshe

Becoming A New Self: Practices Of Belief In Early Modern Catholicism

bySluhovsky, Moshe

Hardcover | October 12, 2017

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In Becoming a New Self, Moshe Sluhovsky examines the diffusion of spiritual practices among lay Catholics in early modern Europe. By offering a close examination of early modern Catholic penitential and meditative techniques, Sluhovsky makes the case that these practices promoted the idea of achieving a new self through the knowing of oneself.

Practices such as the examination of conscience, general confession, and spiritual exercises, which until the 1400s had been restricted to monastic elites, breached the walls of monasteries in the period that followed. Thanks in large part to Franciscans and Jesuits, lay urban elites—both men and women—gained access to spiritual practices whose goal was to enhance belief and create new selves. Using Michel Foucault’s writing on the hermeneutics of the self, and the French philosopher’s intuition that the early modern period was a moment of transition in the configurations of the self, Sluhovsky offers a broad panorama of spiritual and devotional techniques of self-formation and subjectivation.
Moshe Sluhovsky is the Paulette and Claude Kelman Chair in the Study of French Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is the author, among other books, of Believe Not Every Spirit: Possession, Mysticism and Discernment in Early Modern Catholicism, also published by the University of Chicago Press.
Title:Becoming A New Self: Practices Of Belief In Early Modern CatholicismFormat:HardcoverDimensions:232 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:October 12, 2017Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022647285X

ISBN - 13:9780226472850

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Table of Contents


1. Introduction
2. Directing Souls
3. Spiritual Exercises
4. General Confession
5. Examination of Conscience


Editorial Reviews

“Sluhovsky describes a revolution to which we have paid little or no attention—the refinement and proliferation of traditions of spiritual guidance in Catholic Europe in the early modern period.  Meticulously researched and studiously impartial, this book  delivers a salutary jolt to dominant narratives of  the emergence of the self in modern times from Max Weber to Michel Foucault. It adds an unexpectedly rich new strand to our understanding of the culture of the West.”