The Problem of Unbelief in the Sixteenth Century

The Religion of Rabelais

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Author: Lucien Febvre

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674708266

Category: History

Page: 516

View: 7874

Lucien Febvre's magisterial study of sixteenth century religious and intellectual history, published in 1942, is at long last available in English, in a translation that does it full justice. The book is a modern classic. Febvre, founder with Marc Bloch of the journal Annales, was one of France's leading historians, a scholar whose field of expertise was the sixteenth century. This book, written late in his career, is regarded as his masterpiece. Despite the subtitle, it is not primarily a study of Rabelais; it is a study of the mental life, the mentalité, of a whole age. Febvre worked on the book for ten years. His purpose at first was polemical: he set out to demolish the notion that Rabelais was a covert atheist, a freethinker ahead of his time. To expose the anachronism of that view, he proceeded to a close examination of the ideas, information, beliefs, and values of Rabelais and his contemporaries. He combed archives and local records, compendia of popular lore, the work of writers from Luther and Erasmus to Ronsard, the verses of obscure neo-Latin poets. Everything was grist for his mill: books about comets, medical texts, philological treatises, even music and architecture. The result is a work of extraordinary richness of texture, enlivened by a wealth of concrete detailsâe"a compelling intellectual portrait of the period by a historian of rare insight, great intelligence, and vast learning. Febvre wrote with Gallic flair. His style is informal, often witty, at times combative, and colorful almost to a fault. His idiosyncrasies of syntax and vocabulary have defeated many who have tried to read, let alone translate, the French text. Beatrice Gottlieb has succeeded in rendering his prose accurately and readably, conveying a sense of Febvre's strong, often argumentative personality as well as his brilliantly intuitive feeling for Renaissance France.

The Problem of Unbelief in the 16th Century

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Author: Joseph Tendler

Publisher: CRC Press

ISBN: 0429939833

Category: History

Page: 130

View: 9470

Febvre asked this core question in The Problem of Unbelief: “Could sixteenth-century people hold religious views that were not those of official, Church-sanctioned Christianity, or could they simply not believe at all?” The answer informed a wider debate on modern history, particularly modern French history. Did the religious attitudes of the Enlightenment and the twentieth century—notably secularism and atheism—first take root in the sixteenth century? Could the spirit of scientific and rational inquiry of the twentieth century have begun with the rejection of God and Christianity by men such as Rabelais, writing in his allegorical novel Gargantua and Pantagruel – the work most often cited as a proto-"atheist" text prior to Febvre's study? The debate hinged on some key differences of interpretation. Was Rabelais mocking the structures of the Christian Church (in which case he might be anticlerical)? Was he mocking the Bible scriptures or Church doctrines (in which case he might be anti-Christian)? Or was he mocking the very idea of God’s existence (in which case he might be an atheist)? The other great contribution that Febvre made to the study of history can be found not so much in the fine detail of this work as in the additions that he made to the historian's toolkit. In this sense, Febvre was highly creative; indeed it can be argued that he ranks among the most creative of all historians. He sought to move the study of history itself beyond its traditional focus on documentary records, arguing instead that close analysis of language could open up a gateway into the ways in which people actually thought, and to their subconscious minds. This concept, the focus on "mentalities," is core to the hugely influential approach of the Annales group of historians, and it enabled a switch in the focus of much historical inquiry, away from the study of elites and their deeds and towards new forms of broader social history. Febvre also used techniques and models drawn from anthropology and sociology to create new ways of framing and answering questions, further extending the range of problems that could be addressed by historians. Working together with colleagues such as Marc Bloch, his understanding of what constituted evidence and of the meanings that could be attributed to it, radically redefined what history is – and what it should aspire to be.

The Coming of the Book

The Impact of Printing, 1450-1800

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Author: Lucien Febvre,Henri-Jean Martin

Publisher: Verso Books

ISBN: 9781844676330

Category: History

Page: 378

View: 8880

The emergence of the book was an event of world historical importance, and heralded the dawning of modernity. In this history of that momentous process, the authors mesh together economic and technological history, sociology and anthropology, with the study of modes of consciousness to root the development of printing.

A Geographical Introduction to History

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Author: L. Febvre

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136192514

Category: History

Page: 416

View: 669

Originally published between 1920-70,The History of Civilization was a landmark in early twentieth century publishing. It was published at a formative time within the social sciences, and during a period of decisive historical discovery. The aim of the general editor, C.K. Ogden, was to summarize the most up to date findings and theories of historians, anthropologists, archaeologists and sociologists. This reprinted material is available as a set or in the following groupings: * Prehistory and Historical Ethnography Set of 12: 0-415-15611-4: £800.00 * Greek Civilization Set of 7: 0-415-15612-2: £450.00 * Roman Civilization Set of 6: 0-415-15613-0: £400.00 * Eastern Civilizations Set of 10: 0-415-15614-9: £650.00 * Judaeo-Christian Civilization Set of 4: 0-415-15615-7: £250.00 * European Civilization Set of 11: 0-415-15616-5: £700.00

The Inquisitor in the Hat Shop

Inquisition, Forbidden Books and Unbelief in Early Modern Venice

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Author: Federico Barbierato

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317027523

Category: History

Page: 432

View: 5835

Early modern Venice was an exceptional city. Located at the intersection of trade routes and cultural borders, it teemed with visitors, traders, refugees and intellectuals. It is perhaps unsurprising, then, that such a city should foster groups and individuals of unorthodox beliefs, whose views and life styles would bring them into conflict with the secular and religious authorities. Drawing on a vast store of primary sources - particularly those of the Inquisition - this book recreates the social fabric of Venice between 1640 and 1740. It brings back to life a wealth of minor figures who inhabited the city, and fostered ideas of dissent, unbelief and atheism in the teeth of the Counter-Reformation. The book vividly paints a scene filled with craftsmen, friars and priests, booksellers, apothecaries and barbers, bustling about the city spaces of sociability, between coffee-houses and workshops, apothecaries' and barbers' shops, from the pulpit and drawing rooms, or simply publicly speaking about their ideas. To give depth to the cases identified, the author overlays a number of contextual themes, such as the survival of Protestant (or crypto-Protestant) doctrines, the political situation at any given time, and the networks of dissenting groups that flourished within the city, such as the 'free metaphysicists' who gathered in the premises of the hatter Bortolo Zorzi. In so doing this rich and thought provoking book provides a systematic overview of how Venetian ecclesiastical institutions dealt with the sheer diffusion of heterodox and atheistical ideas at different social levels. It will be of interest not only to scholars of Venice, but all those with an interest in the intellectual, cultural and religious history of early-modern Europe.

Christianity's Dangerous Idea

The Protestant Revolution--A History from the Sixteenth Century to the Twenty-First

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Author: Alister McGrath

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0061864749

Category: Religion

Page: 560

View: 7730

A New Interpretation of Protestantism and Its Impact on the World The radical idea that individuals could interpret the Bible for themselves spawned a revolution that is still being played out on the world stage today. This innovation lies at the heart of Protestantism's remarkable instability and adaptability. World-renowned scholar Alister McGrath sheds new light on the fascinating figures and movements that continue to inspire debate and division across the full spectrum of Protestant churches and communities worldwide.

Atheism from the Reformation to the Enlightenment

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Author: Michael Cyril William Hunter,David Wootton

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198227361

Category: Mathematics

Page: 307

View: 2419

The rise of atheism and unbelief is a key feature in the development of the modern world, yet it is a topic which has been little explored by historians. This book presents a series of studies of irreligious ideas in various parts of Europe during the two centuries following the Reformation. Atheism was everywhere illegal in this period. The word itself first entered the vernacular languages soon after the Reformation, but it was not until the eighteenth century that the first systematic defences of unbelief began to appear in print. Its history in the intervening years is significant but problematic and hitherto obscure. The leading scholars who have contributed to this volume offer a range of approaches and draw on a wide variety of sources to produce a scholarly, original, and fascinating book. Atheism from the Reformation to the Enlightenment will be essential reading for all concerned with the religious, intellectual, and social history of early modern Europe.

Belief and Unbelief in Medieval Europe

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Author: John H. Arnold

Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic

ISBN: 9780340807866

Category: History

Page: 328

View: 423

Historians have no record of what the people who lived in medieval Europe between 1100-1500 did or did not believe regarding their Christian faith. This penetrating study sifts through the traces of evidence left across Europe to assemble a more complete picture. While religion in medieval Europe was a central part of people's lives and affected even the most mundane aspects of everyday existance, the period was far from uniform as the "Age of Faith". By focusing on lay people, this comprehensive analysis unlocks the multiple meanings of religion, asking how it functioned and what effect it had on the population, revealing the meanings and struggles that lay behind the misleading, commonly held myth of ubiquitous religious life in medieval Europe.

The Inconstancy of the Indian Soul

The Encounter of Catholics and Cannibals in 16th-century Brazil

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Author: Eduardo Batalha Viveiros de Castro

Publisher: Prickly Paradigm

ISBN: 9780984201013

Category: History

Page: 104

View: 7717

In the mid-sixteenth century, Jesuit missionaries working in what is now Brazil were struck by what they called the inconstancy of the people they met, the indigenous Tupi-speaking tribes of the Atlantic coast. Though the Indians appeared eager to receive the Gospel, they also had a tendency to forget the missionaries’ lessons and “revert” to their natural state of war, cannibalism, and polygamy. This peculiar mixture of acceptance and rejection, compulsion and forgetfulness was incorrectly understood by the priests as a sign of the natives’ incapacity to believe in anything durably. In this pamphlet, world-renowned Brazilian anthropologist Eduardo Viveiros de Castro situates the Jesuit missionaries’ accounts of the Tupi people in historical perspective, and in the process draws out some startling and insightful implications of their perceived inconstancy in relation to anthropological debates on culture and religion.

A SECULAR AGE

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Author: Charles TAYLOR

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674044282

Category: Philosophy

Page: 888

View: 5940

The place of religion in society has changed profoundly in the last few centuries, particularly in the West. In what will be a defining book for our time, Taylor takes up the question of what these changes mean, and what, precisely, happens when a society becomes one in which faith is only one human possibility among others.

How the Idea of Religious Toleration Came to the West

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Author: Perez Zagorin

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400850711

Category: History

Page: 392

View: 8072

Religious intolerance, so terrible and deadly in its recent manifestations, is nothing new. In fact, until after the eighteenth century, Christianity was perhaps the most intolerant of all the great world religions. How Christian Europe and the West went from this extreme to their present universal belief in religious toleration is the momentous story fully told for the first time in this timely and important book by a leading historian of early modern Europe. Perez Zagorin takes readers to a time when both the Catholic Church and the main new Protestant denominations embraced a policy of endorsing religious persecution, coercing unity, and, with the state's help, mercilessly crushing dissent and heresy. This position had its roots in certain intellectual and religious traditions, which Zagorin traces before showing how out of the same traditions came the beginnings of pluralism in the West. Here we see how sixteenth- and seventeenth-century thinkers--writing from religious, theological, and philosophical perspectives--contributed far more than did political expediency or the growth of religious skepticism to advance the cause of toleration. Reading these thinkers--from Erasmus and Sir Thomas More to John Milton and John Locke, among others--Zagorin brings to light a common, if unexpected, thread: concern for the spiritual welfare of religion itself weighed more in the defense of toleration than did any secular or pragmatic arguments. His book--which ranges from England through the Netherlands, the post-1685 Huguenot Diaspora, and the American Colonies--also exposes a close connection between toleration and religious freedom. A far-reaching and incisive discussion of the major writers, thinkers, and controversies responsible for the emergence of religious tolerance in Western society--from the Enlightenment through the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights--this original and richly nuanced work constitutes an essential chapter in the intellectual history of the modern world.

Reading Lucretius in the Renaissance

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Author: Ada Palmer

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674967089

Category: History

Page: 414

View: 3371

Ada Palmer explores how Renaissance poets and philologists, not scientists, rescued Lucretius and his atomism theory. This heterodoxy circulated in the premodern world, not on the conspicuous stage of heresy trials and public debates but in the classrooms, libraries, studies, and bookshops where quiet scholars met transformative ideas.

The Conversos and Moriscos in Late Medieval Spain and Beyond

Departures and Change

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Author: Kevin Ingram

Publisher: BRILL

ISBN: 9004175539

Category: History

Page: 363

View: 1199

Converso and Morisco are the terms applied to those Jews and Muslims who converted to Christianity (mostly under duress) in late medieval Spain. "Converso and Moriscos Studies" examines the manifold cultural implications of these mass convertions.

Privacy’s Blueprint

The Battle to Control the Design of New Technologies

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Author: Woodrow Hartzog

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674976002

Category: Computers

Page: 322

View: 9302

Woodrow Hartzog develops the underpinning of a new kind of privacy law responsive to the way people actually perceive and use digital technologies. Rather than permit exploitation, it would demand encryption, prohibit malicious interfaces that deceive users and leave them vulnerable, and require safeguards against abuses of biometric surveillance.

Elements of Surprise

Our Mental Limits and the Satisfactions of Plot

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Author: Vera Tobin

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674919599

Category: Psychology

Page: 310

View: 8013

Why do some surprises delight—the endings of Agatha Christie novels, films like The Sixth Sense, the flash awareness that Pip’s benefactor is not (and never was!) Miss Havisham? Writing at the intersection of cognitive science and narrative pleasure, Vera Tobin explains how our brains conspire with stories to produce those revelatory plots that define a “well-made surprise.” By tracing the prevalence of surprise endings in both literary fiction and popular literature and showing how they exploit our mental limits, Tobin upends two common beliefs. The first is cognitive science’s tendency to consider biases a form of moral weakness and failure. The second is certain critics’ presumption that surprise endings are mere shallow gimmicks. The latter is simply not true, and the former tells at best half the story. Tobin shows that building a good plot twist is a complex art that reflects a sophisticated understanding of the human mind. Reading classic, popular, and obscure literature alongside the latest research in cognitive science, Tobin argues that a good surprise works by taking advantage of our mental limits. Elements of Surprise describes how cognitive biases, mental shortcuts, and quirks of memory conspire with stories to produce wondrous illusions, and also provides a sophisticated how-to guide for writers. In Tobin’s hands, the interactions of plot and cognition reveal the interdependencies of surprise, sympathy, and sense-making. The result is a new appreciation of the pleasures of being had.

Feudal Society

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Author: Marc Bloch

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317677579

Category: History

Page: 550

View: 6833

Marc Bloch said that his goal in writing Feudal Society was to go beyond the technical study a medievalist would typically write and ‘dismantle a social structure.’ In this outstanding and monumental work, which has introduced generations of students and historians to the feudal period, Bloch treats feudalism as living, breathing force in Western Europe from the ninth to the thirteenth century. At its heart lies a magisterial account of relations of lord and vassal, and the origins of the nature of the fief, brought to life through compelling accounts of the nobility, knighthood and chivalry, family relations, political and legal institutions, and the church. For Bloch history was a process of constant movement and evolution and he describes throughout the slow process by which feudal societies turned into what would become nation states. A tour de force of historical writing, Feudal Society is essential reading for anyone interested in both Western Europe’s past and present. With a new foreword by Geoffrey Koziol

Alchemical Belief

Occultism in the Religious Culture of Early Modern England

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Author: Bruce Janacek

Publisher: Penn State Press

ISBN: 0271050136

Category: Body, Mind & Spirit

Page: 222

View: 4469

"Explores the practice of alchemy in the context of the religious and political tensions in late Elizabethan and early Stuart England, and the use of occult knowledge to demonstrate proof of theological doctrines"--Provided by publisher.