The fission of the western Church in the Reformation era released great quantities of energy, not all of which was contained by the confessional churches. Alongside the well-studied process of confessionalisation and the persistence of variety within popular religion, the post-Reformation period witnessed a series of poorly understood attempts by a wide variety of intellectuals to extend the reforming impulse from the spheres of church and theology to many different areas of life and thought. Within these ambitious reforming projects, impulses originating in the Reformation mixed inextricably with projects emerging from the late-Renaissance and with the ongoing transformations of communications, education, art, literature, science, medicine, and philosophy. Although specialised literatures exist to study these individual developments, they do not comfortably accommodate studies of how these components were sometimes brought together in the service of wider reforms. By providing a natural home for fresh research uncomfortably accommodated within Renaissance studies, Reformation studies, and the histories of science, medicine, philosophy, and education, this new series will pursue a more synoptic understanding of individuals, movements, and networks pursuing further and more general reform by bringing together studies rooted in all of these sub-disciplinary historiographies but constrained by none of them.
By Georgiana D. Hedesan
April 29, 2016
History of science credits the Flemish physician, alchemist and philosopher Jan Baptist Van Helmont (1579-1644) for his contributions to the development of chemistry and medicine. Yet, as this book makes clear, focussing on Van Helmont's impact on modern science does not do justice to the ...
By Brandon Marriott
July 07, 2015
In 1644, the news that Antonio de Montezinos claimed to have discovered the Lost Tribes of Israel in the jungles of South America spread across Europe fuelling an already febrile atmosphere of messianic and millenarian expectation. By tracing the process in which one set of apocalyptic ideas was ...