Rietbergen, Power and Religion in Baroque Rome
In ten chapters, partly case-studies, this monograph analyzes the (new) ways in which cultural manifestations were used to create the necessary preconditions for (religious) policy and power in the Rome of Urban VIII (1623-1644). It was the intensified interaction between culture and power-politics that created what we now call ‘the Baroque’. Based on a rich variety of, hitherto largely unexplored, primary sources, the book addresses the basic issues of papal power in the post-Tridentine period. It does not study actual papal politics, but rather the cultural forms that were essential to the representation and legitimization of the papacy’s power, both secular and religious and that (co-)determined the effectiveness of papal policy. Precisely during Urban’s long pontificate, the manifold, always imaginative and often unexpected uses of power representation became, in the end, not so much a series of cultural forms as, in a sense, the structure of early modern (Roman) society.
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