Rhetoric Versus Propaganda

Evonne Levy

in Propaganda and the Jesuit Baroque

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 2004 | ISBN: 9780520233577
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520928633 | DOI:
Rhetoric Versus Propaganda

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The nineteenth-century notion of a Jesuit Style designated architecture as a system of persuasion, treating built forms as evidence of the manipulative methods of the Jesuits. The invocation of propaganda after World War I to describe the Jesuit and the Catholic Baroque was a shorthand, a trace of the troubling aspects of the institutions and architecture of this historical period. But should propaganda operate as more than a sign in art history? Above and beyond the historiographic overdeterminations that place Jesuit architecture in the realm of propaganda, how can our modern sense of this term help us to understand the art of the past? This chapter provides a schematic history with an eye to some of the traditional debates that have plagued rhetoric, especially in relation to philosophy. First, it explores crowd psychology and rhetoric at the end of the nineteenth century. It then discusses the new rhetoric and propaganda as “supplement.”.

Keywords: Jesuit Style; Jesuit architecture; Jesuits; crowd psychology; propaganda; Catholic Baroque; philosophy; rhetoric; persuasion; art history

Chapter.  14697 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Christianity

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