Benedict XIV and the Enlightenment: Art, Science, and Spirituality

Benedict XIV and the Enlightenment: Art, Science, and Spirituality


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Pope Benedict XIV Lambertini (r. 1740–58) was one of the driving forces behind the Italian Enlightenment of the eighteenth century. His campaign to reconcile faith and empirical science, re-launch a dialogue between the Church and the European intellectual community, and expand papal patronage of the arts and sciences helped restore Italy’s position as a center of intellectual and artistic innovation.

Benedict XIV and the Enlightenment offers a broad and nuanced assessment of Benedict’s engagement with Enlightenment art, science, spirituality, and culture. The collection’s essays, written by international experts in the field, cover topics ranging from Benedict’s revisions to the Church’s procedures for beatification and sanctification to his patronage of women scientists and mathematicians at the university in Bologna, his birthplace.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442637184
Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
Publication date: 01/29/2016
Series: Toronto Italian Studies Series
Pages: 536
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Rebecca Messbarger is a professor in the Department of Romance Languages at Washington University in St. Louis.

Christopher M.S. Johns is a professor in the Department of History of Art at Vanderbilt University.

Philip Gavitt is a professor in the Department of History at Saint Louis University.

Table of Contents

Preface by Rebecca Messbarger

Introduction by Christopher M. S. Johns

Part I: Benedict XIV, Women and Progressive Catholicism

1. Marta Cavazza: Benedict’s Patronage of Learned Women

2. Paula Findlen: The Pope and the Englishwoman: Benedict XIV, Jane Squire, the Bologna Academy, and the Problem of Longitude

3. Stephanie Kirk: Benedict XIV and New World Convent Reform

Part II: Faith and Medicine in Catholic Enlightenment

4. Rebecca Messbarger: The Art and Science of Human Anatomy in Benedict’s Vision of the Enlightenment Church

5. Gianna Pomata: The Devil’s Advocate Among the Physicians: What Prospero Lambertini Learned from Medical Sources

6. Fernando Vidal: Modernizing the Miraculous Body in Prospero Lambertini’s De Servorum Dei

Part III: Benedict’s Response to Challenges to Church Authority

7. John L. Heilbron: Benedict XIV and the Natural Sciences

8. Maurice Finocchiaro: Benedict XIV and the Galileo Affair: Liberalization or Carelessness?

9. Maria Pia Donato: Reorder and Restore: Benedict XIV, the Index and the Holy Office

Part IV: Theology, Tradition and Institutions in the Era of Enlightened Catholicism

10. Maria Teresa Fattori: Lambertini’s Treatises and the Cultural Project of Benedict XIV: Two Sides of the Same Policy

11. Roberto Rusconi: Benedict XIV and the Holiness of Popes in the First Half of the Eighteenth Century

12. Peter Björn Kerber: Vicar of Christ and Alter Christus: Benedict XIV’s Della S. Messa

Part V: Benedict XIV’s Transformation of the Public Sphere

13. Paola Giuli: Prospero Lambertini and the Accademia degli Arcadi (1694–1708)

14. Carole Paul: Benedict XIV’s Enlightened Patronage of the Capitoline Museum

15. Christopher M. S. Johns: Papal Diplomacy and the Catholic Enlightenment: Benedict XIV’s Caffeaus in the Quirinal Gardens

Part VI: Art and Architecture Across Italy and the World

16. Jeffrey Collins: Pedagogy in Plaster: Ercole Lelli and Benedict XIV’s Gipsoteca at Bologna’s Instituto delle Scienze e delle Arti

17. Kristina Kleutghen: The Art Ethnicity and Empire: Jesuit Art in China during the Papacy of Benedict XIV

18. Tommaso Manfredi: Academic Practice and Roman Architecture during the Reign of Benedict XIV

What People are Saying About This

William V. Hudon

“Collectively, these wonderful essays frame the outline of a new, more humanized portrait of an early modern pope whose career, actions, personality, and values deserve still more study.”

Catherine Sama

Benedict XIV and the Enlightenment is a superb collection of essays. The Benedict XIV that emerges from its pages is a nuanced and fascinating figure of the Catholic enlightenment, a man who was both idealistic and pragmatic, rigorously logical yet at times contradictory in his views on the world around him and the Church’s role in it.”

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