HDS 2069

There was no period more significant to the development of Catholicism than early modernity. Faced both with the competing truth claims of the Protestant Reformation and encounter with new and unknown cultures, the Catholic Church reaffirmed or redefined itself and many of its major tenets. Three of the most significant and interrelated of these concepts that required review were sanctity, martyrdom, and mysticism. They were central to early modern Catholic theology and devotion, and yet saints, martyrs, and mystics were liminal figures. They were caught between orthodoxy and heterodoxy, cultural heroes, and counter cultural. This seminar explores these tensions as they manifested themselves in the early modern world, with special attention to analysis of primary source texts. Topics examined include mission history, gender, and history of the body.