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The Sensuous in the Counter-reformation Church

ISBN: 9781107013230 | 1107013232
Edition: 1st
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Cambridge Univ Pr
Pub. Date: 7/22/2013

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This book examines the promotion of the sensuous as part of religious experience in the Roman Catholic Church of the early modern period. During the Counter-Reformation, every aspect of religious and devotional practice was reviewed, including the role of art and architecture, while the invocation of the five senses to incite devotion became a hotly contested topic. The Protestants had condemned the material cult of veneration of relics and images, rejecting the importance of emotion and the senses and instead promoting the power of reason in receiving the Word of God. After much debate, the Church concluded that the senses are necessary to appreciate the sublime, and that they derive from the Holy Spirit. As part of its attempt to win back the faithful, the Church embraced the sensuous and promoted the use of images, relics, liturgy, processions, music and theatre as important parts of religious experience.


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