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Censorship And Canon: A Note On Some Medieval Works And Authors

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses some issues regarding early modern Catholic censorship of medieval works and authors, with particular attention to theological and philosophical works. Some preliminary remarks and caveats are due. First, in view of the well-known thorny problems of periodization a neat distinction between medieval and early modern authors and works is problematic. Second, Roman censorship, as organized in the Congregations of the Holy Office and the Index, concentrated on living persons and recently published books. Third, although the two Roman Congregations were intended as universal bodies of doctrinal control, in actual fact their jurisdiction only extended to the Ecclesiastical state (including Avignon), to the majority of other Italian states and to Malta. Canon can become a focus for debate in any period in which artists, critics, philosophers and theologians try to match an inherited body of texts, practices or ideas to their perceived present and future cultural needs.

Keywords: early modern canons; early modern Catholic censorship; Ecclesiastical state; Roman censorship



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