Sacred History: Uses of the Christian Past in the Renaissance World

Hardcover | June 1, 2012

EditorKatherine Van Liere, Simon Ditchfield, Howard Louthan

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This volume provides the first geographically broad, comparative survey of early modern 'sacred history', or writing on the history of the Christian Church, its leaders and saints, and its institutional and doctrinal developments, in the two centuries from c. 1450-1650. With deep medievalroots, ecclesiastical history was generally a conservative enterprise, often serving to reinforce confessional, national, regional, dynastic, or local identities. But writers of sacred history innovated in research methods and in techniques of scholarly production, especially after the advent ofprint. The demand for sacred history was particularly acute in the various movements for religious reform, in both Catholic and Protestant traditions. After the Renaissance, many writers sought to apply humanist critical principles to writing about the church, but the sceptical thrust of humanisthistoriography threatened to undermine many ecclesiastical traditions, and religious historians often had to wrestle with tensions between criticism and piety.Thirteen thematic chapters examine the influence of Renaissance humanism, religious reform, and other political, intellectual, and social developments of these two centuries on the writing of ecclesiastical history in its various forms. These diverse genres, inherited from medieval culture, includedsaints' lives, diocesan histories, national chronicles, and travel accounts. Early chapters examine Catholic and Protestant traditions of sacred historiography in western Europe, especially Italy and Switzerland. Subsequent chapters examine particular instances of sacred historiography in Germany,central Europe, Spain, England, Ireland, France, and Portuguese India; and developments in Christian art historiography and Holy Land antiquarianism.

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This volume provides the first geographically broad, comparative survey of early modern 'sacred history', or writing on the history of the Christian Church, its leaders and saints, and its institutional and doctrinal developments, in the two centuries from c. 1450-1650. With deep medievalroots, ecclesiastical history was generally a co...

Katherine Van Liere is professor of history at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She specializes in the intellectual and cultural history of early modern Spain, and has published numerous articles on Renaissance humanism, education, and historiography. Her current research focuses on the historical writings of Ambrosio de Moral...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.98 inPublished:June 1, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199594791

ISBN - 13:9780199594795

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Table of Contents

Part I: Church history in the Renaissance and Reformation1. Anthony Grafton: Church history in early modern Europe: tradition and innovation2. Euan Cameron: Primitivism, patristics and polemic in Protestant visions of early Christianity3. Giuseppe Guazzelli: Cesare Baronio and the Roman Catholic vision of the early Church4. Simon Ditchfield: What was sacred history? Mostly Roman Catholic uses of the Christian past after TrentPart II: National history and sacred history5. David Collins: The Germania illustrata, humanist history, and the Christianization of Germany6. Katherine Van Liere: Renaissance chroniclers and the apostolic origins of Spanish Christianity7. Howard Louthan: Catholic visions of a holy past in central Europe8. Rosamund Oates: Elizabethan histories of English Christian Origins9. Salvador Ryan: Reconstructing Irish Catholic history after the ReformationPart III: Uses of sacred history in the early modern Catholic world10. The lives of the saints in the French Renaissance c. 1500 c. 1640 (Jean-Marie Le Gall)11. Doubting Thomas: the apostle and the Portuguese empire in early modern Asia (Liam Brockey)12. Cultural history in the catacombs: early Christian art and Macarius s Hagioglypta (Irina Oryshkevich)13. Scholarly pilgrims: antiquarian visions of the Holy Land (Adam Beaver)