Ambiguity and Ambivalence in the ‘Neue Welt-Bott’: The Reports on Eastern Christianities in a Jesuit Cultural Encyclopedia


Renate Dürr (Eberhard Karl University of Tübingen)




18:15 Central European Time


Campus Westend and Zoom Meeting

The Neue Welt-Bott is a collection of (mostly) Jesuit letters and treatises from all four corners of the world published between 1726 and 1761. Ulrike Strasser (San Diego) and Renate Dürr are currently writing a monograph, De-centering the Enlightenment: Religion, Emotion, and Global Knowledge Transfer, in which they examine the first three volumes of this cultural encyclopedia edited by Joseph Stöcklein (1675–1733). In particular, they focus on the multiple ambiguities and ambivalences in these texts. In her talk, Renate Dürr presents a chapter from this book project that deals with accounts of Eastern Christians. Here, the ambiguity of conditions in the Ottoman Empire and the ambivalence of many missionaries intertwined with confessional debates between Catholics and Protestants in Western Europe in a variety of ways. Ambiguous statements were not always intentional. Nevertheless, Ulrike Strasser and Renate Dürr posit that the many contradictory contents in the Neue Welt-Bott and the numerous hidden additions by Joseph Stöcklein opened up new spaces for discussion about Eastern Christians.

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