Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

The Catholic Response to The Protestant Reformation

Class

Article

College

College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Faculty Mentor

Susan Cogan

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Abstract

Within the 16th century leaves of the Theaturm Curdelitatum Haereticorum Nostri Temporis, one finds a myriad of emotionally charged, visceral images illustrating Catholic martyrdoms. At first glance, the Catholic book of martyrs appears to be a mere knee-jerk response to the Protestant martyrdoms springing up all over Europe. However, the specific way that this book is created is inherently Catholic; it is not just there to highlight to crimes of the Protestants, it is to teach and inspire persecuted Catholics about contemporary martyrs, using the age-old rhetoric of saintly worship. We aim to answer several questions: what about this source sets it apart from its Protestant counterpArts; what were the accused being tortured for and why was it significant doctrinally; and what is symbolic about the imagery? Preliminary research shows us that this document has specific Catholic characteristics. The language it was written in is Latin, for one, a language Protestants were crusading to discard from religious experience. There is no visible blood in the images—suggesting that the victims are sanctified even in their grotesque circumstances. This research matters for a number of reasons. Not only does exploring this issue give people a window into the religious turmoil of the Protestant Reformation, forcing them to imagine a time when people were drawn and quartered in the streets, but it also exposes the doctrinal differences between Catholics and Protestants that have, today, largely faded. Lastly, it leads us to ponder the natural human instinct toward hero-worship and the cultural elevation of martyrs.

Location

The South Atrium

Start Date

4-12-2018 9:00 AM

End Date

4-12-2018 10:15 AM

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Apr 12th, 9:00 AM Apr 12th, 10:15 AM

The Catholic Response to The Protestant Reformation

The South Atrium

Within the 16th century leaves of the Theaturm Curdelitatum Haereticorum Nostri Temporis, one finds a myriad of emotionally charged, visceral images illustrating Catholic martyrdoms. At first glance, the Catholic book of martyrs appears to be a mere knee-jerk response to the Protestant martyrdoms springing up all over Europe. However, the specific way that this book is created is inherently Catholic; it is not just there to highlight to crimes of the Protestants, it is to teach and inspire persecuted Catholics about contemporary martyrs, using the age-old rhetoric of saintly worship. We aim to answer several questions: what about this source sets it apart from its Protestant counterpArts; what were the accused being tortured for and why was it significant doctrinally; and what is symbolic about the imagery? Preliminary research shows us that this document has specific Catholic characteristics. The language it was written in is Latin, for one, a language Protestants were crusading to discard from religious experience. There is no visible blood in the images—suggesting that the victims are sanctified even in their grotesque circumstances. This research matters for a number of reasons. Not only does exploring this issue give people a window into the religious turmoil of the Protestant Reformation, forcing them to imagine a time when people were drawn and quartered in the streets, but it also exposes the doctrinal differences between Catholics and Protestants that have, today, largely faded. Lastly, it leads us to ponder the natural human instinct toward hero-worship and the cultural elevation of martyrs.