Feeling Reformation

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History @ Newcastle

Seminar Series

Friday 6 June 2014, at 10am

Cultural Collections, through AIC at Auchmuty Library (Ground Floor)


Speakers: Prof. Nicholas Terpstra, University of Toronto; Prof. Gary Waite, University of New Brunswick

Feeling Reformation: Emotion and the Age of Reform

What constitutes reformation and the movement known as The Reformation?  One distinguishing characteristic of late medieval and renaissance religious reform movements was their greater emphasis on collective purity and contagion, and their greater reliance on forms of discipline, enclosure and exclusion in order to deal with both the prospect and reality of impurity.

This can be seen at both the microcosmic level of confraternities and churches and the macrocosmic level of public policy in early modern European cities and states.  Fear and anxiety were critical emotions driving the most extreme ‘reform’ activities from the fifteenth through the seventeenth centuries.

They informed much of the period’s confessional and didactic media [ie, including woodcuts, music, literature] that was generated to justify those actions.  Incorporating emotion into our analysis, and tracing the impact of actions undertaken out of these emotions, can help us reconsider the traditional geographic and chronological boundaries of the Reformation movement.

Everyone is welcome!



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