Thursday 29 August 2019
Renaissance Religions: Modes and Meanings in History
This paper addresses some current issues surrounding approaches to the study of religion in the pre-reformation period. In particular, revisionist approaches to humanism and humanists are forcing a re-evaluation of the framing of belief and the boundaries between Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are seen to be more fluid and porous, while a keen interest in devotion and materiality has lent new voice to ‘subaltern’ elements in society. I will be taking Florence in the late fifteenth century as my case study, and will examine how newly discovered texts and approaches to antique religions were challenging understandings of the nature of theology and the boundaries of orthodoxy. I will draw upon material that has hitherto escaped comment in the historiography.
Peter Howard is Director of the Institute for Religion and Critical inquiry at the Australian Catholic University, and formerly Founding Director of the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Monash University.