1st Edition

The Sacralization of Space and Behavior in the Early Modern World Studies and Sources

By Jennifer Mara DeSilva Copyright 2015
    344 Pages
    by Routledge

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    In the Early Modern period - as both reformed and Catholic churches strove to articulate orthodox belief and conduct through texts, sermons, rituals, and images - communities grappled frequently with the connection between sacred space and behavior. The Sacralization of Space and Behavior in the Early Modern World explores individual and community involvement in the approbation, reconfiguration and regulation of sacred spaces and the behavior (both animal and human) within them. The individual’s understanding of sacred space, and consequently the behavior appropriate within it, depended on local need, group dynamics, and the dissemination of normative expectations. While these expectations were defined in a growing body of confessionalizing literature, locally and internationally traditional clerical authorities found their decisions contested, circumvented, or elaborated in order to make room for other stakeholders’ activities and needs. To clearly reveal the efforts of early modern groups to negotiate authority and the transformation of behavior with sacred space, this collection presents examples that allow the deconstruction of these tensions and the exploration of the resulting campaigns within sacred space. Based on new archival research the eleven chapters in this collection examine diverse aspects of the campaigns to transform Christian behavior within a variety of types of sacred space and through a spectrum of media. These essays give voice to the arguments, exhortations, and accusations that surrounded the activities taking place in early modern sacred space and reveal much about how people made sense of these transformations.

    Introduction: ‘Piously made’: sacred space and the transformation of behavior, Jennifer Mara DeSilva; Preventing sloth and preserving the liturgy: organizing sacred space in 16th-century Rome, Jennifer Mara DeSilva. Appendix: the institution of the chaplain (1524) - Archivio Storico del Vicariato, Capitolo SS Celso e Giuliano, vol. 373.; Piety, patronage, and power: funerary sculpture in 16th-century France, Rebecca Constabel; Ritual viewing in the Chapel of Corpus Christi: Bernardino Luini's passion cycle at San Giorgio al Palazzo, Milan, Pamela A.V. Stewart; From Rome to the southern Netherlands: spectacular sceneries to celebrate the canonization of Ignatius of Loyola and Francis Xavier, Annick Delfosse; The sanctification of nature in Marian shrines in Catalonia: contextualizing human desires in a Mediterranean cult, Abel A. Alves; The Pope’s two souls and the space of ritual protest during Rome’s Sede Vacante, 1559-1644, John M. Hunt; Defining the sacred in the community: iconoclasm, renewal and remembrance at the Basilica of Saint Martin in Tours, Eric Nelson; Extending the boundaries of the sacred in 17th-century Padua, Celeste McNamara; Churchyard capers: the controversial use of church space for dancing in early modern England, Emily F. Winerock; The imperial horrification of Jesuit frontier sacred space in South America, 1750-67, David Stiles; Bibliography; Index.


    Jennifer Mara DeSilva received her Ph.D. from the University of Toronto and is currently an Assistant Professor of History at Ball State University. She is the author of several journal articles exploring the mechanics of family strategy and group identity as well as the nuances and practical realities of ecclesiastical reform. In addition, she is the editor of Episcopal Reform and Politics in Early Modern Europe (Truman State University Press, 2012).