Innovation in Early Modern Catholicism  book cover
1st Edition

Innovation in Early Modern Catholicism

Edited By

Ulrich L. Lehner

ISBN 9781032051970
Published November 30, 2021 by Routledge
212 Pages

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents

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

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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