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Other titles in the Oxford Studies in Historical Theology series:
Empire of Souls: Robert Bellarmine and the Christian Commonwealth (Oxford Studies in Historical Theology)by Stefania Tutino
Synopses & Reviews
Robert Bellarmine was one of the pillars of post-Reformation Catholicism: he was a celebrated theologian and a highly ranked member of the Congregations of the Inquisition and of the Index, the censor in charge of the Galileo affair. Bellarmine was also one of the most original political theorists of his time, and he participated directly in many of the political conflicts that agitated Europe between the end of the sixteenth and the beginning of the seventeenth century.
Stefania Tutino offers the first full-length study of the impact of Bellarmine's theory of the potestas indirecta in early modern Europe. Following the reactions to Bellarmine's theory across national and confessional boundaries, this book explores some of the most crucial political and theological knots in the history of post-Reformation Europe, from the controversy over the Oath of Allegiance to the battle over the Interdetto in Venice. The book sets those political and religious controversies against the background of the theological and institutional developments of the post-Tridentine Catholic Church. By examining the violent and at times surprising controversies originated by Bellarmine's theory, this book challenges some of the traditional assumptions regarding the theological shape of post-Tridentine Catholicism; it offers a fresh perspective on the centrality of the links between confessional affiliation and political allegiance in the development of the modern nation-states; and it contributes to our understanding of the development of 'modern' notions of power and authority.
Robert Bellarmine was one of the most celebrated figures in post-Reformation Catholicism. One of the most original theologians and political theorists of his time, he participated directly in many of the political conflicts that agitated Europe between the end of the sixteenth and the beginning of the seventeenth century. His most influential work concerned the role of the papacy. Although some have criticized Bellarmine's position as weak or inconsistent, Stefania Tutino defends it as a highly effective and original argument against an increasingly secularized understanding of political authority. She argues that Bellarmine provided the Catholic Church with new theoretical tools to respond to the progressive strengthening of the authority of early modern monarchies, by reaffirming its transnational absolute domination. Tutino's approach to Bellarmine and his influence moves beyond earlier scholarship concerned with the internal dynamics of the Catholic Church and instead examines the interplay between ecclesiastical, religious, intellectual, and political history. Her book makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the role of theological arguments in early modern political thought and the role of the Catholic Church in the political history of early modern Europe.
About the Author
Stefania Tutino completed her Ph. D. in early modern history at the Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, in 2003. She has been an Andrew W. Mellon postdoctoral fellow at UCLA, and since 2005 she is at UCSB, where she holds a joint appointment in the Departments of History and Religious Studies.
Table of Contents
List of Abbreviations
1570s-1580s: the foundations of Bellarmine's potestas indirecta
1580s-1590s: the controversies over the Controversiae
The controversy over the Interdetto and the attacks against Bellarmine's theory
Bellarmine and the Oath of Allegiance
Robert Bellarmine and the potestas indirecta: Continental repercussions
The making of a scapegoat: the case of Martin Becanus
Robert Bellarmine and the Catholic Church: questions of power and authority
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