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The Catholic Aufklärung In Italy

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Chapter Summary

The historiographical category of katholische Auklrung was formulated by the German Catholic historian Sebastian Merkle in a lecture given at the international Congress of historians in 1909. The French scholar Bernard Plongeron re-proposed and amplified Merkles definition, broadening the theme of Catholic Aufklrung in Western Europe and in Italy in two important review articles. Condensed in this work are not only the reasons already given in De ingeniorum moderatione, but also the religious experience gained on the one hand in the controversy with the Jesuit Francesco Burgio, and on the other hand in the course of the debate in the 1740s on the reduction of liturgical holy days of obligation which Benedict XIV was gradually bringing into effect. In this work, written in the framework of a transfer in an apologetic key of the Rousseau figure of Legislator, the Christ Legislator takes on importance for Cerutti.

Keywords: Catholic Aufklrung; Italy; Legislator; Merkle



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