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Fathers and Godfathers: Spiritual Kinship in Early-Modern Italy

Religion


by
Guido Alfani

Book Details

Format: EPUB

Page count: 288 pages

File size: 5 MB

Protection: DRM

Language: English

In medieval Europe baptism did not merely represent a solemn and public recognition of the ‘natural’ birth of a child, but was regarded as a second, ‘spiritual birth’, within a social group often different from the child’s blood relations: a spiritual family, composed of godfathers and godmothers. Exploring the changing theological and social nature of spiritual kinship and godparenthood between 1450 and 1650, this book explores how these medieval concepts were developed and utilised by the Catholic Church in an era of reform and challenge. It demonstrates how such ties continued to be of major social importance throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, but were often used in ways not always coherent with their original religious meaning, and which could have unexpected social consequences.

In medieval Europe baptism did not merely represent a solemn and public recognition of the ‘natural’ birth of a child, but was regarded as a second, ‘spiritual birth’, within a social group often different from the child’s blood relations: a spiritual family, composed of godfathers and godmothers. Exploring the changing theological and social nature of spiritual kinship and godparenthood between 1450 and 1650, this book explores how these medieval concepts were developed… (more)

In medieval Europe baptism did not merely represent a solemn and public recognition of the ‘natural’ birth of a child, but was regarded as a second, ‘spiritual birth’, within a social group often different from the child’s blood relations: a spiritual family, composed of godfathers and godmothers. Exploring the changing theological and social nature of spiritual kinship and godparenthood between 1450 and 1650, this book explores how these medieval concepts were developed and utilised by the Catholic Church in an era of reform and challenge. It demonstrates how such ties continued to be of major social importance throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, but were often used in ways not always coherent with their original religious meaning, and which could have unexpected social consequences.

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