1st Edition

Innovation in Early Modern Catholicism

Edited By Ulrich L. Lehner Copyright 2022
    212 Pages
    by Routledge

    212 Pages
    by Routledge

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    This volume demonstrates that the Catholic rhetoric of tradition disguised both novelties and creative innovations between 1550 and 1700.

    Innovation in Early Modern Catholicism reveals that the period between 1550 and 1700 emerged as an intellectually vibrant atmosphere, shaped by the tensions between personal creativity and magisterial authority. The essays explore ideas about grace, physical predetermination, freedom, and probabilism in order to show how the rhetoric of innovation and tradition can be better understood. More importantly, contributors illustrate how disintegrated historiographies, which often excluded Catholicism as a source of innovation, can be overcome. Not only were new systems of metaphysics crafted in the early modern period, but so too was a new conceptual language to deal with the pressing problems of human freedom and grace, natural law, and Marian piety. Overall, the volume shines significant light on hitherto neglected or misunderstood traits in the understanding of early modern Catholic culture.

    Re-presenting early modern Catholicism more crucially than any other currently available study, Innovation in Early Modern Catholicism is a useful tool for advanced undergraduates, postgraduates, and scholars in the fields of philosophy, early modern studies, and the history of theology.

    1. Introduction: Innovation and Creativity in Early Modern Catholicism

    Ulrich L. Lehner        

    2. The Rhetoric of Innovation and Constancy in Early Modern Catholicism

    Ulrich L. Lehner  

    3. Catholic Theology and Doctrinal Novelty in the Quarrel over Grace: Theological schools, innovations, and pluralism during the Molinism Controversy

    Sylvio Hermann De Franchesci

    4. Faithfulness and Novelty in Early Modern Thomism: The Dionysian Dimension of Physical Predetermination    

    Matthew Gaetano

    5. The Innovative Character of the Suárezian Project in its Proper Historical Context 

    Victor M. Salas

    6. New Models of Church Government: Innovation in Catholic Ecclesiology, ca. 16001800

    Shaun Blanchard

    7. At the Fringes of the Church: The Ecclesial Status of Heretics and their Baptized Children in Early Modern Ecclesiology

    Eric DeMeuse

    8. The Invention of Probabilism

    Emmanuele Colombo   

    9. Natural Law and Cultural Difference: innovations in Spanish scholasticism 

    Elisabeth Rain Kincaid

    10. Duns Scotus and the Making of Modern Catholic Theology

    Trent Pomplun

    11. The Invention of Early Modern Mariology

    Damien Tricoire


    Ulrich L. Lehner is the William K. Warren Foundation Professor at the University of Notre Dame. He has published more than twenty volumes on early modern history and the history of religion including Women, Enlightenment and Catholicism (Routledge, 2018) and his writings have been translated into seven languages.

    ‘This book is an important intervention in early modern studies. Dismantling the caricature of the period’s Catholic theology as staid and oppressive, this volume highlights the innovation and creativity that was taking place, which saw the Church spread globally and help set theological courses that would rise to prevalence in the modern period.’

    James E. Kelly, Durham University, UK


    "This multi-faceted volume’s numerous case studies provide a compelling and fascinating effort at rediscovering these early modern hybrids—traditional innovations."

    Stephen Schloesser S.J., Department of History, Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA. Reviewed in Journal of Jesuit Studies issue 10 (Brill, 2023), 371-3