Rome Calling? Rewriting the Catholic Reformation for the 21st Century


Simon Ditchfield (University of York)




18:15 Central European Summer Time


Campus Westend and Zoom Meeting

For longer than Simon Ditchfield has been a professional historian, Benedetto Croce’s lapidary ‘all history is contemporary history’ has been his watchword. Since Ditchfield found himself, almost by accident, as an historian of religion, it has been a trusted beacon as he has navigated his way between the Scylla of ‘Trent Classic’ (or Counter-Reformation) and the Charybdis of ‘Trent Lite’ (or Catholic Reformation). In order to understand the history of early modern Roman Catholicism for what it actually was: a period of religious change which involved, to a greater or lesser extent, all four parts into which the world was then conceived and understood from the European perspective, we need to make central to our understanding, the dynamic of reciprocity within a forcefield of inequality in which often no one was in complete charge.

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