Sacrifice in the Europe of the religious conflicts and in the early modern world

Comparisons, interpretations, legitimations from the Late Middle Ages to the Enlightenment

Ambiti: Religioni

The project proposes to study certain aspects of religious sacrifice from the Late Middle Ages to the Enlightenment.

It will compare various European Christian denominations following the Reformation, broadening its scope to the colonial world as well, especially to Christian reflections on Islam and on Asia. Utilizing a wide spectrum of source material (biblical comments, normative texts, rites, images, philosophical and anthropological reflections, histories of ancient Christianity, missionary correspondences), the research group intends to focus on the language of sacrifice in the modern era (the presence of a scapegoat, the ritual role of blood, the use of violence) and will concentrate on the following themes:

the persistent idea of holy war and the use of biblical figures as examples of sacrifice in religious conflict in Europe;

early modern Catholic sanctity, its ideological use and the rewriting of the bodily sacrifice;

the Protestant martyrology and the idea of sacrifice in the Radical Reformation;

the birth of the history of religions and of the anthropological comparison and their reflection on sacrifice;

the view on the colonial world, especially India, through missionary accounts on sat (the ritual immolation of the widow on her deceased husband’s funeral pyre).

Partners: Università di Bologna, Università di Firenze, Università di Napoli, Università di Macerata

Responsabile scientifico

Vincenzo Lavenia

Professore ordinario

Research Team

Elisabetta Marchetti

Professoressa associata