Myths of Renaissance Individualism (Early Modern History) by Martin

By Martin

The concept the Renaissance witnessed the emergence of the trendy person continues to be a strong fable. during this very important new booklet Martin examines the Renaissance self with realization to either social background and literary idea and provides a brand new typology of Renaissance selfhood which used to be instantly collective, performative and porous. whilst, he stresses the layered traits of the Renaissance self and the salient function of interiority and notions of inwardness within the shaping of identification.

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In the Italian reform, I am suggesting, it is not enough to line up figures on one side or another of the religious battle lines of the sixteenth century. For very often we find them passing over these lines, drifting from heresy to heresy (what St. Augustine centuries earlier in his ‘confession’ had called the ‘circuitus errori mei’). Furthermore, these were neither marginal nor exceptional figures. ’8 Yet we still have little understanding of this aspect of the religious life and identity in the sixteenth century.

His testimony, after all, had implicated a wide range of Italian courtiers and humanists in the most compromising heresies of the day. 5 In sixteenth-century Italy many individuals passed first from Catholicism to evangelical or Protestant positions; and, of these, several would take the further step of becoming Anabaptists and antitrinitarians; and, indeed, some would become millenarians. Others, after entertaining or embracing Protestant or other heretical ideas, would return to the Catholic Church.

As an itinerant silk-weaver from Modena, Paolo Gaiano, for example, who often moved back and forth between Venice and his native city, took advantage of the cover the textile industry provided to men who, like him, were highly critical of the Roman Church and very sympathetic to the ideals of religious reform. Heretical identities in the less mobile world of prosperous Venetian artisans and professionals required, in all likelihood, a greater degree of caution. The notary Girolamo Parto, first tried for heresy in 1553, was self-conscious from that point on about concealing his beliefs.

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