La Spiritualité à la Mode

in Believe Not Every Spirit

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2007 | ISBN: 9780226762821
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226762951 | DOI:
La Spiritualité à la Mode

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  • Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)


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By the early years of the sixteenth century, women, who had earlier been attributed with divine grace and had been celebrated as prophetesses and visionaries, were more likely now to be viewed as witches, melancholiacs, possessed by demons, or simulating their sanctity. The idiom of exorcism, which had previously been understood as a healing technique, was now used to exorcise and thus silence these women. This chapter traces changes within early modern Catholic spirituality, arguing that rather than positing a systematic attack on female spirituality per se, what came under suspicion was one new spiritual technique characterized by an emphasis on passive interiority. It first describes the terminology of the new mysticism, such as Alumbradismo, Illuminism (Illuminati, Aluminados), and Quietism. The terms “Quietism” and “pre-Quietism” are used as umbrella terms for these disparate trends. The chapter then argues that new directions in Franciscan and Dominican spirituality in the Low Countries, Italy, and Spain created a climate in which individual believers sought more interiorized and passive routes for interaction with the divine.

Keywords: exorcism; spirituality; passive interiority; mysticism; Quietism; pre-Quietism; Low Countries; Italy; Spain

Chapter.  18337 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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