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date: 22 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter surveys Latin writings on religious themes produced from ca. 1520 onward by Roman Catholic authors. The corpus under consideration ranges from scholarly and devotional writings in which the articulation of confessional identity is of secondary importance to those works whose principal objective was to demarcate the boundaries of orthodoxy. The chapter begins with the unique sacerdotal status of Latin within Catholicism, then surveys the variety of Catholic writings—confessional debate, historical scholarship, and devotional literature—before concluding with some observations upon the ways the varied character of this corpus found expression in the Latinity of its authors. Particular attention is drawn to important individuals and debates, most notably Robert Bellarmine and Caesar Baronius; the revival of hagiography; the efflorescence of Latin devotional literature; the importance of Jesuit schooling; and the stylistic problems posed by intra-confessional polemic and the contrasting religious character of different religious orders.

Keywords: Bellarmine, Baronius, controversy, Vatican, confessional debate, historiography, polemic, Jesuits, theology

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