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Circa 1533: Anxieties, Desires, and Dreams

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In Italy, the Holy Roman Empire, and France, one can discern in the last decades of the fifteenth century and the early years of the sixteenth a powerful anguish about the future, taking one of two forms: either the vision of an imminent Last Judgment, or a great rupture in time, announcing the dawn of a new Covenant. In France, one of the peculiar features of this historical process was the tension that built up around the year 1533, one thousand five hundred years after the death of Christ. This tension could explain the offensive launched individually or collectively by the men who stood behind Marguerite de Navarre-men of faith who hoped to bring the kingdom into the evangelical sphere of the Word of God, given to each and to all. Their defeat, following the inaugural address of Nicholas Cop, and the two Affairs of the Placards, left the way open for the emergence of a sharp division between, on the one hand, a "popery" proclaiming that the End of Time had come, and, on the other, a Calvinism seeking to "de-eschatologize" the human understanding of time.

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/content/journals/10.1163/157006501x00023
2001-01-01
2015-09-04

Affiliations: 1: University of Paris, Sorbonne

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