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Words of Conversion: Poetry and Religious Identity in Early Modern Italy

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The essay examines three cases of poets (Baptista Mantuanus, Giles of Viterbo, Jacopo Sannazaro) who wrote texts about conversion in early modern Italy. Its goal is to illustrate the evolution of conversion before the Reformation and to explore the role of poetic writing in the construction of religious identities. More precisely, the essay investigates how members of mendicant orders used a so-called ‘language of experiential knowledge’ to define their religious identity and defend the knowledge claims of their order against competing options. In doing so, the essay brings forth an original hypothesis concerning the target and motives of the condemnation of poetry at the Fifth Lateran Council, while further contributing to the current debate on religious pluralism and European identity.

Affiliations: 1: McGill University, matteo.soranzo@mcgill.ca

10.1163/18748929-00601001
/content/journals/10.1163/18748929-00601001
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/content/journals/10.1163/18748929-00601001
2013-01-01
2016-12-08

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