The Ashgate Research Companion to the Counter-Reformation

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  • Edited by Alexandra Bamji, University of Leeds, UK, Geert H. Janssen, University of Oxford, UK and Mary Laven, University of Cambridge, UK
  • 'In the last two decades, the history of the Counter-Reformation has been stretched and re-shaped in numerous directions. Reflecting the variety and innovation that characterize studies of early modern Catholicism today, this volume incorporates topics as diverse as life cycle and community, science and the senses, the performing and visual arts, material objects and print culture, war and the state, sacred landscapes and urban structures. Moreover, it challenges the conventional chronological parameters of the Counter-Reformation and introduces the reader to the latest research on global Catholicism.

    The Ashgate Research Companion to the Counter-Reformation presents a comprehensive examination of recent scholarship on early modern Catholicism in its many guises. It examines how the Tridentine reforms inspired conflict and conversion, and evaluates lives and identities, spirituality, culture and religious change. This wide-ranging and original research guide is a unique resource for scholars and students of European and transnational history.
  • Contents: Introduction, Mary Laven; Part I Conflict, Coexistence and Conversion: Tridentine Catholicism, Simon Ditchfield; Confessionalization, Ute Lotz-Heumann; Religious coexistence, Keith P. Luria; The exile experience, Geert H. Janssen; The Inquisition, Nicholas S. Davidson; Catholic pamphleteering, Andrew Pettegree; Catholic missions to Asia, Tara Alberts; Catholic missions to the Americas, Karin Vélez. Part II Catholic Lives and Devotional Identities: Being a Catholic in early modern Europe, Judith Pollmann; The Catholic life-cycle, Alexandra Bamji; The sacred landscape, Alexandra Walsham; Sanctity, Clare Copeland; The Counter-Reformation of the senses, Wietse de Boer; Lay spirituality, Nicholas Terpstra; Catholic piety and community, Simone Laqua-O’Donnell. Part III Ideas and Cultural Practices: Intellectual culture, Michael Edwards; Science and the Counter-Reformation, Nick Wilding; Music and the Counter-Reformation, Noel O’Regan; Counter-Reformation drama, Paul Shore; Art and the Counter-Reformation, Andrea Lepage; Material culture, Silvia Evangelisti. Part IV Religious Change: Catholic reformations: a medieval perspective, John H. Arnold; The globalization of reform, Karen Melvin; Legacies of the Counter-Reformation and the origins of modern Catholicism, Mary Laven; Index.
  • About the Editor: Alexandra Bamji is Lecturer in Early Modern History in the School of History, University of Leeds, UK. She is a cultural historian of early modern Europe, with particular interests in cities, religion and the history of medicine. Geert H. Janssen is a Special Lecturer in early modern Dutch history at Oxford University and Fellow of Corpus Christi College. He is the author of Princely Power in the Dutch Republic: Patronage and William Frederick of Nassau (1613-64) and is currently working on a book about Catholic Exile in the Dutch Revolt. Mary Laven is University Senior Lecturer in Early Modern European History, University of Cambridge, UK. She is the author of Virgins of Venice: Enclosed Lives and Broken Vows in the Renaissance Convent, winner of the 2002 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, and Mission to China: Matteo Ricci and the Jesuit Encounter with the East.
  • Reviews: 'This handbook is an excellent survey of current research trends in early modern Catholicism… Recommended. Upper-level undergraduates through researchers/faculty.'

    'The Ashgate Research Companion to the Counter-Reformation … is an extremely useful tool for those in the academy wishing to instruct the next generation of scholars and also a helpful resource for the experienced scholar. It is an outstanding piece of work. … The editors and contributors associated with this volume deserve considerable praise and commendation.'
    Sixteenth Century Journal

    ‘This new companion by a formidable array of early modern historians will breathe new and exciting life into the understanding of this crucial era, disrupting the tendency to impose easy uniformity on the massively complex tapestry of the Reformation narrative. No mere compilation of diverse essays, the work constitutes a highly original drama of intellectual ideas. The editors have orchestrated a remarkable unity out of a pluralism of interwoven perspectives, each fascinating in its own right and yet contributing to the integrity of the whole. The story this book tells is of an era rich in local diversity, exceptions, paradoxes, seminal influences and telling narratives. Highly readable, remarkable in its range of scholarship, this study is set to become an essential text for the early modern period.’
    John Cornwell, Cambridge University, UK

    'The Ashgate Research Companion to the Counter-Reformation is a valuable handbook for all scholars and students of early modern Catholicism. Leading scholars take on a wide variety of topics and relate important directions in current research, while the work as a whole expands the concept of Counter-Reformation. Comprehensive in scope, the volume focuses on the varieties of religious experience and highlights the complexities of Catholic identities during a dynamic age. This is a work that makes sense of recent scholarship and sends it in new directions.'
    Charles H. Parker, Saint Louis University, USA

    'Gathering an imaginative range of new research, Bamji, Janssen and Laven have created an indispensable collection on the Counter-Reformation. This book enlivens an interdisciplinary field of inquiry which has too often been shackled to debate over terminology or rendered serially myopic by inherited demarcations of period, theme and territory. Global and multi-directional in its vision, these authors feature vastly different experiences of religious and cultural belonging, divergent narratives, and tensions which not only loom but get re-made by memory. Throughout, responses and repercussions are taken as seriously as aspirations and decrees.'
    Kenneth Mills, University of Toronto, Canada

    '… by providing new insights into well-studied topics, the scholars who contributed to this volume offer both students and teachers of the Counter-Reformation a valuable addition to the ever-growing scholarship on this topic.'

    '… gather[s] together excellent summaries of recent research on topics as diverse as missions to Asia and the Americas; lay spirituality; Catholic music, art, drama, material culture, and holiness; the Catholic life cycle, landscape, and community; the Inquisition; and “Tridentine” Catholicism.'
    Theological Studies

    '… the chapters in this collection serve to challenge and expand the limits of questions on the when, where, how and why of post-Tridentine Catholicism. Serving as an excellent source of reference and direction, the accessible volume reaches out to experienced researchers and less practised scholars alike whilst its sheer diversity allows for a broader discussion of global Catholicism and richly adds to the current historiography on the Counter-Reformation.'
    European History Quarterly

    'An extensive meditation on the nature of early modern Catholicism which rewards the reader with stimulating insights and considerable food for thought. As such, it deserves to be read in full - and by many.'
    Innes Review

    'It is rare to find an edited collection so wide ranging, informative and thought provoking. The 24 essays presented here have a wide geographical, thematic, disciplinary and methodological coverage, yet they are held together by coherent and persuasive suggestions for the future of research on the Catholic Church in and after the Reformation period.'
    Recusant History

    '… The Ashgate Research Companion to the Counter-Reformation more than satisfies the collection’s mission of offering scholars and students a comprehensive and authoritative review of current research in this field. The editors are to be commended for crafting such an immensely readable and unified volume. Asking new questions and approaching well-trodden areas of study with new concerns and methodologies, the authors offer fresh and exciting suggestions that will guide future study. There is no doubt that this volume will be essential reading for early modern scholars and will certainly find its way onto every graduate student’s early modern reading list.'
    Renaissance & Reformation

    'Scholars and students alike will welcome the publication of this book. The editorial team … has assembled a most impressive cast of contributors, with each essay delivering vibrant and rigorous treatment of key themes and debates. The chronological span of the collection is notable … The geographical scope is equally striking … Structurally, the book follows an innovative approach.'
    English Historical Review

    'This welcome volume … provides a welcome introduction to the most recent research on the Counter Reformation for undergraduate and graduate students and a useful and accessible survey of a rapidly changing field for advanced scholars.'
    Journal of Jesuit Studies