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date: 05 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

When seeking to capture how religion shapes lay people’s expectations, a focus on formal theology and on ecclesiastical structures can leave much unexplained. Three concepts animated Renaissance Catholics’ understandings of reality, God’s purposes, and their own obligations: Real Presence, Immediate Accountability, and Divine Rhythms in Time and Space. The Catholic Church developed through later centuries along the lines of three broad movements of early modernity: the evolutions from Moving to Fixed, from Local to Universal, and from Action to Intention. Catholicism remained fully a creature of its times as it adopted these new emphases, some shared by Protestants and others emerging through the processes of globalization. The changes arose from and reinforce new institutional orderings traceable through political and social institutions generally. They were less the top-down impositions of an authoritative body, than the cultural evolution of a social institution which retained considerable internal variety of thought and worship.

Keywords: Early modern Catholicism, globalization, lay religion, confessionalization, Catholic reform

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