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The Phoenix and the Flame Catalonia and the Counter-Reformation cover
  • ISBN: 9780300054163
  • ISBN10: 0300054165

The Phoenix and the Flame Catalonia and the Counter-Reformation

by Henry Arthur Francis Kamen

  • List Price: $75.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Yale Univ Pr
  • Publish date: 07/01/1993
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Description
In sixteenth-century Europe, culture and religious belief were so enmeshed that they informed and underpinned every act, however mundane, of every ordinary man or woman. But while the Reformation is acknowledged to have brought revolutionary change to Western society, the people of Catholic Europe have usually been regarded as little affected. Spain, in particular, is supposed to have escaped the winds of change entirely. Now, by considering the life of one small, but lively and distinctive, rural community - the Catalan village of Mediona - and the broader Mediterranean society of which it was part, Henry Kamen shows that, in fact, the Counter Reformation led to powerful changes in the dally life, belief and culture of the common people. Drawing exclusively on unpublished documents and on the wealth of books published during the period, the author looks at the popular culture of Catalan Spain, at the changes wrought by the Counter Reformation, at administrative reforms, the place of the community in religious belief, attempts to change popular festivities and celebrations, the far-reaching innovations in marriage and sexuality, the role of the Inquisition and of the Jesuits, the problem of witchcraft, and the impact of new ideas - introduced from abroad - on local language and the printed word. This pioneering study, the first of its kind on any Catholic society of the pre-industrial period, offers important new perspectives on the basis of the evidence for Catalonia, Spain's most vital and individual province. Kamen's Catalonia was a traditional society in which official dogma and morality played little part in everyday life, in which church marriage and the concept of Purgatory werelittle known, a society where control by the Inquisition was scorned, and extensive freedom of the Press survived. By contemplating popular religion and culture from the bottom rather than from the top, Henry Kamen offers new insights into an epoch normally studied and assessed only in the light of great political events, and presents a wholly original vision of culture and society in Golden Age Spain.
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