New Book | The Visual Culture of Catholic Enlightenment

Posted in books by Editor on January 3, 2015

From Penn State UP:

Christopher M. S. Johns, The Visual Culture of Catholic Enlightenment (University Park: Penn State University Press, 2014), 440 pages, ISBN: 978-0271062082, $90.

9780271062082_p0_v1_s600Until relatively recently, most scholars considered the notion of a Catholic enlightenment either oxymoronic or even illusory, since the received wisdom was that the Catholic Church was a tireless and indefatigable enemy of modernist progress. According to Christopher Johns, however, the eighteenth-century papacy recognized the advantages of engaging with certain aspects of enlightenment thinking, and many in the ecclesiastical hierarchy, both in Italy and abroad, were sincerely interested in making the Church more relevant in the modern world and, above all, in reforming the various institutions that governed society. Johns presents the visual culture of papal Rome as a major change agent in the cause of Catholic enlightenment while assessing its continuing links to tradition. The Visual Culture of Catholic Enlightenment sheds substantial light on the relationship between eighteenth-century Roman society and visual culture and the role of religion in both.

Christopher M. S. Johns is the Norman and Roselea Goldberg Professor of History of Art at Vanderbilt University.

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List of Illustrations
Introduction: Rome and the Catholic Enlightenment in Historical Context
1. Ecclesiastical Reform and the European Public: Italian Jansenism and the Catholic Enlightenment
2. Sanctity and Social Utility: Making Saints in the Era of Catholic Enlightenment
3. The Papacy and the Patrimony I: Corsini Cultural Initiatives on the Capitoline Hill
4. The Papacy and the Patrimony II: The Expansion of the Capitoline Museums Under Benedict XIV and Clement XIII
5. Enlightened Administration and Polite Conversation: Clement XII and Benedict XIV on the Quirinal Hill
6. Roman Spaces of Catholic Enlightenment: Sacred Sites and Institutions of Social Utility
7. Popes, Episcopacy, and the “Good Bishop” of Catholic Enlightenment
Epilogue: Two Portuguese Earthquakes and the End of Catholic Enlightenment
Selected Bibliography

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