Publicity in French Catholicism


Jean-Pascal Gay (Catholic University of Louvain)




18:15 Central European Summer Time


Zoom Meeting

Recent scholarship on intra-Catholic controversies in the early modern period has turned from intellectual history towards social and cultural approaches. Yet while the Habermasian notion of Öffentlichkeit fails to capture the specificity of early modern religious controversies, finding a new analytical framework for understanding the nature of publicity remains difficult. In this talk, building on the work of Michel de Certeau and Christian Jouhaud, Jean-Pascal Gay argues that we can better explain the shifting sands of Catholic controversy by treating publication as action. This approach promises to reveal more clearly the processes of politicization (even ideologization) that shaped early modern Catholic confessional cultures—while also connecting cultural and religious histories. Illuminating the ways in which particular regimes of publicity formed and were formed, in turn, by a range of ecclesial communities, treating publication as action offers scholars new ways of understanding Catholic plurality over time and space.

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