The Visual Culture of Catholic Enlightenment

Hardcover | December 12, 2014

byChristopher M. S. Johns

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Until relatively recently, most scholars considered the notion of a Catholic enlightenment either oxymoronic or even illusory, since the received wisdom was that the Catholic Church was a tireless and indefatigable enemy of modernist progress. According to Christopher Johns, however, the eighteenth-century papacy recognized the advantages of engaging with certain aspects of enlightenment thinking, and many in the ecclesiastical hierarchy, both in Italy and abroad, were sincerely interested in making the Church more relevant in the modern world and, above all, in reforming the various institutions that governed society. Johns presents the visual culture of papal Rome as a major change agent in the cause of Catholic enlightenment while assessing its continuing links to tradition. The Visual Culture of Catholic Enlightenment sheds substantial light on the relationship between eighteenth-century Roman society and visual culture and the role of religion in both.

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Until relatively recently, most scholars considered the notion of a Catholic enlightenment either oxymoronic or even illusory, since the received wisdom was that the Catholic Church was a tireless and indefatigable enemy of modernist progress. According to Christopher Johns, however, the eighteenth-century papacy recognized the advanta...

Christopher M. S. Johns is the Norman and Roselea Goldberg Professor of History of Art at Vanderbilt University.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:440 pages, 11 × 9 × 1 inPublished:December 12, 2014Publisher:Penn State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0271062088

ISBN - 13:9780271062082

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Table of Contents

Contents

List of Illustrations

Acknowledgments

Introduction: Rome and the Catholic Enlightenment in Historical Context

Ecclesiastical Reform and the European Public: Italian Jansenism and the Catholic Enlightenment

Sanctity and Social Utility: Making Saints in the Era of Catholic Enlightenment

The Papacy and the Patrimony I: Corsini Cultural Initiatives on the Capitoline Hill

The Papacy and the Patrimony II: The Expansion of the Capitoline Museums Under Benedict XIV and Clement XIII

Enlightened Administration and Polite Conversation: Clement XII and Benedict XIV on the Quirinal Hill

Roman Spaces of Catholic Enlightenment: Sacred Sites and Institutions of Social Utility

Popes, Episcopacy, and the “Good Bishop” of Catholic Enlightenment

Epilogue: Two Portuguese Earthquakes and the End of Catholic Enlightenment

Notes

Selected Bibliography

Index

Editorial Reviews

“This is a wonderful, odd, challenging book. Wonderful because it is learned, informative, and engaging. Odd because it brings together ideas, events, and institutions that often are thought of as disparate and even antithetical. Challenging because by means of patient argument and accumulation of evidence, Christopher Johns disturbs many long-held assumptions about his subjects. . . . Johns opens our minds and eyes to creative acts, ideas, and works that have long been overshadowed by theories and events that seemed to have little or no positive relation to the religion of the time. This is not only a good book to look at, but a very good book to read.”—Robert Kiely, Eighteenth-Century Life