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“Nationalist Ethos, Collective Reformation and Citizenry Power” examines the invention and fragmentation of Nigeria as nation, and the inadequacies and complications that arise from the lack of a proper definition of national identity as a Nigerian. Only the territory has been clearly defined; the people and the governments are at indeterminate extremes of national formation with insufficient integrating ideologies. While nationalism as a patriotic allegiance to national identity is central to the reformation and revolution interventions, it is yet the least explored or emphasized. The collective identification of a group of people as one is a needed impetus that drives national development, democracy, and empowerment. Rather than enhance the integration of the nation, as it is practiced in Nigeria, federalism further divides the nation across majority–minority and regional dichotomies. Just as the government is alienated from the people, the people are also alienated from the state with the utmost preoccupation of scrambling for survival. Such inadequacies are themselves dangerous prompts for succession and (ethnic)nationalism. However, there is the need to perceive strength from the multicultural existence of Nigeria, and not concentrate on the divisive tendency of our diversity. The spirit of inclusiveness fosters peace and development.
If the eighteenth century was dominated by a French Enlightenment idea of Europe, following the French Revolution and then the Napoleon Wars, the early nineteenth century saw the rise of a German Romantic idea of Europe, dominated by strains of cultural nationalism. On the one hand, German Romantics such as Novalis looked back nostalgically to medieval Christendom for the model of a united Europe; on the other hand, thinkers such as Johann Gottlieb Fichte and the Schlegel brothers dreamed of a Europe dominated by German culture. The roots of the shift from universalism to nationalism lay in the work of writers such as Johann Gottfried Herder, who challenged French Enlightenment universalism with an insistence upon cultural differences. While Herder also challenged the prevailing Eurocentrism and Euro-universalism, the post-Napoleonic era saw both a growing nationalism across Europe and an intensifying European imperialism that would culminate in the “scramble for Africa” in the late nineteenth century. Chapter 3 explores the complex relation between the idea of Europe and that of nationalism in the Romantic period, focusing in particular on the ways in which the ostensibly antithetical ideas of the universal and the national were integrated into the idea of Europe.
Chatper 3 studies a unique pilgrimage society known as the Order of the Holy Sepulcher as a window into the the Holy Land as a source of spiritual and political legitimacy for Catholics in the wake of the Reformation.
A shared biblical past has long imbued the Holy Land with special authority as well as a mythic character that has made the region not only a revered spiritual home for Muslims, Christians, and Jews but also a source of a living sacred history that continues to inform present-day realities and religious identities. This book explores the Early Modern Holy Land (1517–1700) as a critical place in which many early modern Catholics sought spiritual and political legitimacy during a period of profound and disruptive change. The Ottoman conquest of the region, the division of the Western Church, Catholic reform, the integration of the Mediterranean into global trading networks, and the emergence of new imperial rivalries transformed the Custody of the Holy Land (Custodia Terrae Sanctae), the venerable Catholic institution that had overseen Western pilgrimage since 1342, into a site of intense intra-Christian conflict by 1517. This contestation thrusts into relief the Holy Land’s importance both a frontier and sacred center of an embattled Catholic tradition, and in consequence, as a critical site of Catholic renewal and reinvention.
Rynetta Davis’s “National Housekeeping: (Re)dressing the Politics of Whiteness in Nineteenth-Century African American Literary History” considers how nineteenth-century Black women writers contested and revised representations of traditional Black domesticity. Moving outside of the home and beyond traditional forms of domestic work, Elizabeth Keckley, Julia Collins, and Frances Ellen Watkins Harper suggest that Black domestic work exceeds the home space. Davis thus examines a range of domestic print practices and sensibilities in ways that highlight gender, gendered spaces and work, and print possibilities surrounding such. In this, her chapter considers just what “domestic” citizenship might look like.
A shared biblical past has long imbued the Holy Land with special authority as well as a mythic character that has made the region not only the spiritual home for Muslims, Christians, and Jews, but also a source of a living sacred history that informs contemporary realities and religious identities. This book explores the Holy Land as a critical site in which early modern Catholics sought spiritual and political legitimacy during a period of profound and disruptive change. The Ottoman conquest of the region, the division of the Western Church, Catholic reform, the integration of the Mediterranean into global trading networks, and the emergence of new imperial rivalries transformed the Custody of the Holy Land, the venerable Catholic institution that had overseen Western pilgrimage since 1342, into a site of intense intra-Christian conflict by 1517. This contestation underscored the Holy Land's importance as a frontier and center of an embattled Catholic tradition.
Clarinda Calma and Jolanta Rzegocka demonstrate how the experience of compassion shaped communities in early modern Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth by looking at the realm of theatre and normative poetics taught in the Jesuit schools of Poland-Lithuania. They argue that the Jesuit school theatre, a key institution in the Catholic Reformation movement, was one of the venues where the multi-denominational, multi-ethnic and multi-linguistic public sphere of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was debated. Analysing the sermons of Piotr Skarga, rector of the Jesuit Academy in Wilno, alongside dramatic theory and playbills from Jesuit school theatres, they demonstrate that Jesuit theatre, homiletics and poetic theory became spaces where mercy, compassion and tolerance were continually questioned, debated and negotiated in the shifting context of the contemporary political reality.
Toria Johnson interrogates the classification and portrayal of compassion in two major texts: the anonymous morality play Everyman (c. 1508) and Shakespeare’s King Lear (1606). Taking these plays as examples of pre- and post-Reformation approaches to compassionate interaction, she scrutinises a noticeable shift in attitudes towards the idea of pity, both as a fundamental human trait, and as an organising principle for human interaction. Whereas pre-Reformation plays like Everyman stress the volatility and unreliability of an emotion like pity – preferring instead the more established structure offered by charity – King Lear imagines a world without charity, and without the Church as an overseer of interpersonal exchange. Lear, she argues, reflects an emotional response to the Protestant revision of medieval penitential culture, and in so doing, Shakespeare imagines the possible consequences of England’s new emotional landscape. This chapter examines how the language, structure and ceremony of ‘compassion’ changed in the wake of the English Protestant Reformation, and how these shifts altered the way people experienced or understood the compassion of their communities.
Kristine Steenbergh argues that the Reformation impacted traditional practices cultivating compassion. Late sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century sermons reveal a concern over the disappearance of traditional habits of charitable giving and affective meditation, and explore new forms of nurturing a capacity for sharing in the suffering of others. Clergymen thought that a mollified heart requires constant practice. With the loss of traditional habits of charity, they feared their congregations’ hearts were in danger of hardening against the sight of suffering. These concerns are expressed in a recurrent image: in their sermons, preachers worry that the members of their congregation suffer from hardened, closed and dry bowels. The concept of the ‘bowels of compassion’ is central to early modern practices of charity and fellow-feeling: these organs need to be soft and moist to open and stretch towards those in need, to share in their suffering. The active process of compassion was seen as a long-term process of softening the bowels – a concept that brings together religious terminology with humoral and bodily notions of the workings of compassion.
The Introduction lays out the book’s main argument about the uses to which accounts of the Bible’s origins were put in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It sketches the historical context for this phenomenon, discussing how the period was characterized by heightened attention on the Bible’s ultimate divine origin, transcendent of all historical contexts, and at the same time by a new focus on the human and historical mediations shaping Scripture’s extant forms. The Introduction proceeds to a critical analysis of how modern scholars have understood these modes of biblical reception according to theories of secularization and modernity, with some arguing that the early modern Bible’s transcendence, and some its immanence, played important roles in the development of secularity, disenchantment, and modernity. Through engaging this scholarship, the Introduction develops arguments that challenge contemporary thinking about secularity. Following a discussion of the scholarly field of political theology and the present book’s relationship to it, the Introduction ends with an overview of the book's chapters.
In this book, Travis DeCook explores the theological and political innovations found in early modern accounts of the Bible's origins. In the charged climate produced by the Reformation and humanist historicism, writers grappled with the tension between the Bible's divine and human aspects, and they produced innovative narratives regarding the agencies and processes through which the Bible came into existence and was transmitted. DeCook investigates how these accounts of Scripture's production were taken up beyond the expected boundaries of biblical study, and were redeployed as the theological basis for wide-reaching arguments about the proper ordering of human life. DeCook provides a new, critical perspective on ideas regarding secularity, secularization, and modernity, challenging the dominant narratives regarding the Bible's role in these processes. He shows how these engagements with the Bible's origins prompt a rethinking of formulations of secularity and secularization in our own time.
Chapter 2 charts how the Reformation’s spread, coupled with its vulnerability in many territories, created new religious alliances such as the Protestant Schmalkaldic League and the Catholic League of Nuremberg. Both leagues experienced internal conflicts over their operation that burst into the open in 1542 when the Schmalkaldic League’s chiefs attacked one of the League of Nuremberg’s leaders, Duke Heinrich of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel. Through the comparative analysis of multiple contemporaneous leagues, this chapter shows how the Reformation and its interaction with the imperial political system depended on the politics of alliance but also remade how such politics operated.
While many alliances existed in the Empire during the late Middle Ages, the Swabian League became the model par excellence for subsequent leagues. It achieved this standing by offering something unique to all members. It allowed small territories to secure political and military backing from their more powerful neighbors while enabling larger territories to institutionalize spheres of influence. This chapter investigates these dynamics by analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of leagues as tools for military action. The Swabian League fielded one of the most effective fighting forces the Empire had ever seen. Its 1499, 1504, 1519, 1523, and 1525 campaigns established it as a force in imperial politics. They also pushed its members and other Estates to develop in ways that produced later alliances. Ultimately, the League’s operation promoted a vision of the Empire based on collaboration between its territories and the imperial crown that broke down during the early Reformation. Despite its collapse in the early 1530s, the ideal of the Swabian League lived on as the standard to which later alliances aspired. Instead of being rendered redundant, the League’s legacy helped ensure that the politics of alliance remained an essential political strategy long after the League itself disappeared.
During the Reformation and the Age of Exploration, just war thinkers were forced to reexamine the premises on which the Augustinian tradition had stood, including their understanding of natural law, justice, and sovereignty. This chapter examines three thinkers crucial to that transition: Alberico Gentili, Francisco Suarez, and Hugo Grotius. They are part of the Augustinian tradition, but clearly show signs of subtle departure from their predecessors. Grotius, especially, is a hybrid between the Augustinian past and Westphalian future. They understood themselves to be engaged in a project of continuity: they wanted to salvage and reinterpret the intellectual inheritance of Christendom and reapply it to the changing and fracturing landscape of their day. But the new age inaugurated by the treaties of Westphalia transformed it in subtle but important ways, most prominently by secularizing its discourse and changing its understanding of natural law.
In early modern Scotland, religious and constitutional tensions created by Protestant reform and regal union stimulated the expression and regulation of opinion at large. Karin Bowie explores the rising prominence and changing dynamics of Scottish opinion politics in this tumultuous period. Assessing protestations, petitions, oaths, and oral and written modes of public communication, she addresses major debates on the fitness of the Habermasian model of the public sphere. This study provides a historicised understanding of early modern public opinion, investigating how the crown and its opponents sought to shape opinion at large; the forms and language in which collective opinions were represented; and the difference this made to political outcomes. Focusing on modes of persuasive communication, it reveals the reworking of traditional vehicles into powerful tools for public resistance, allowing contemporaries to recognise collective opinion outside authorised assemblies and encouraging state efforts to control seemingly dangerous opinions.
This article presents and evaluates the legal thought of Muhammad ʿAllāl al-Fāsī (1910–1974) with a focus on his discourse on the objectives of Sharīʿa and the motives behind his reformulation of these objectives within the broader context of his political agenda. Al-Fāsī's concerns were not purely academic. As a political leader who struggled for the independence of his country and as a decision maker within the newly established Moroccan state, his theorization of Islamic law departed from traditional and modern efforts to negotiate the supposed status of Sharīʿa within the institutional structures of postcolonial Muslim states. The questions engaged in this article are to what extent did al-Fāsī's contribution to Maqāṣid go beyond its classical reformulations as represented by the Andalusian Māliki jurist Ibrāhīm Ibn Mūsā Abū Isḥāq al-Shāṭibī (d. AH 790/1388 CE) in his seminal work, Al-Muwāfaqāt fī Uṣūl al-Sharīʿa, and whether al-Fāsī's work represents a turn in the field of Maqāṣid when compared with that of other modern Muslim jurists, among them Muhammad al-Ṭāhir Ibn ʿĀshūr (1886–1970). This article focuses on al-Fāsī's book on Maqāṣid al-Sharīʿa, Maqāṣid al-Sharīʿa al-Islāmiyya wa Makārimuhā, and its contribution to the ongoing efforts to accommodate Islamic law within the corpus of modern secular laws.
This chapter considers the relationship between change and continuity in the English Reformations through a close study of historical writing. It situates Protestant historical writing during the Tudor Reformations in its polemical context: the need to defend Protestantism from charges of novelty and heresy, and explain away the apparent glory of the Catholic Church over the previous 1,500 years, which were captured in the phrase, ‘Where was your Church before Luther?’ It shows that in answering that question, Protestant writers used traditional practices and modes of historical writing – apocalypticism, providence and prophesy – and employed traditional media (ballads and prophetic images) alongside the new technology of print. It argues that this apparent continuity with the medieval past was vital to Protestant experience and expression of the Reformations as a jolt to historical consciousness. Because they were teleological, these types of historical writing defined the Reformation as a seismic and defining change in history: the last days which would see the culmination of human history and the purification of the Church. Articulating the importance of the presence necessitated the past being remembered and redefined. In this way, memory was crucial to the process of Reformation.
The first part of the introduction explores how historians and literary scholars have approached early modern memory and sketches the trajectory of recent work on the memory of the English and European Reformations. It then examines the ways in which the religious revolution transformed the memorial culture it inherited from the medieval past and the manner in which it engendered new strategies of remembering and forgetting, commemoration and amnesia. The second section explains the architecture and structure of the volume, which is divided into four parts (1) Events and Temporalities; (2) Objects and Places (3) Lives and Afterlives; (4) Bodies and Rituals. It probes the temporal; spatial and material; biographical; and ceremonial and corporeal dimensions of the memory of the English Reformation, establishing a series of conceptual frameworks for the essays that follow. The Reformation is reconceptualised less as a unitary moment of rupture than as ongoing struggle to reconfigure the nation’s ecclesiastical and cultural heritage and to accommodate the unruly legacy of the past. A prolonged development involving impulses towards both historical preservation and oblivion, it continues to be refought in memory and the imagination.
This chapter explores the reception of the visible legacy of sixteenth-century image-breaking in the years surrounding the English Civil War. For all its violence, the iconoclasm of the early Reformation never succeeded in banishing all superstitious images from English churches and cathedrals. In many places of worship, reminders of the old religion survived into the seventeenth century in the form of defaced carvings, headless statuettes, damaged picture windows and partially razed memorial brasses. Rightly or wrongly, seventeenth-century observers came to associate Reformation iconoclasm with a strategy of instructive defacement, intended to preserve visible examples of Catholic superstition marked with the imprint of reforming zeal. The Laudian reornamentation of English churches in the 1620s and 1630s led many puritans to conclude that the strategy of defacement had been a failure, and to call for a new wave of more thorough-going iconoclasm. Yet others, including John Milton, continued to embrace selective defacement as a model for coping with both literary and material idols.
With empirical touchstones from Europe, North America, Africa, Asia and the Pacific, the authors argue that heritage and property represent different approaches to subject formation, produce distinct bodies of expertise, and belong to different rationalities of government in a global patrimonial field: that cultural property is a technology of sovereignty, part of the order of the modern liberal state, but cultural heritage a technology of reformation that cultivates responsible subjects and entangles them in networks of expertise and management. While particular case trajectories may shift back and forth from rights-based claims and resolutions under the sign of cultural property to ethical claims and solutions under the sign of cultural heritage, the authors contend that there is significant analytical purchase to be gained from their distinction. Using a critical, comparative approach, they make the case for a historically grounded and theoretically informed understanding of the difference between the two terms.