LCMRS Seminar: ''Here time becomes space': Roma sancta in the making of Roman Catholicism as a world religion c.1575-1712' (Professor Simon Ditchfield, University of York)

5:15pm - 6:00pm / Wednesday 5th December 2018 / Venue: Lecture Theatre 2, Rendall Building
Type: Seminar / Category: Department / Series: Liverpool Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies
  • Admission: Free.
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In the wake of the Protestant Reformation Rome was reinvented as the capital of the first globalized religion. Beginning with the Catechismus romanus of 1566, all of the textual revisions that proceeded out of Roman Catholicism’s coming of age shared the suffix Romanum/us. This was not merely textual symbolism: not only were these texts of universal application in the daily worship of the post-Reformation Catholic Church; they were supplemented and supported by missionaries trained in Rome's national colleges and then exported to the far-flung corners of the new Roman Catholic world.

Material vectors of influence, too, were globalized: copies of key Marian icons - such as the Salus Populi Romani of S. Maria Maggiore, which the Jesuits adopted as their global logo - were appropriated and remade by indigenous artists from Mexico to Manila, Ming China to Mughal India. Venerating a copy anywhere in the world, it was now taught, was as legitimate as praying before the Roman original. This ‘miracle’ of portable Catholicism universalized the particular, Roman reality to create a remarkably resilient spiritual/devotional ‘alloy’ that still commands the loyalty of over one billion of this planet’s inhabitants – and in this paper Professor Ditchfield explores themes of interest to all historians working on systems of belief, cross-cultural exchange and the processes of globalization.

This event is part of the Liverpool Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies Seminar Series.