Cover: The Pulpit and the Press in Reformation Italy, from Harvard University PressCover: The Pulpit and the Press in Reformation Italy in HARDCOVER

The Pulpit and the Press in Reformation Italy

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Product Details


$45.00 • £36.95 • €40.50

ISBN 9780674072978

Publication Date: 04/01/2013


272 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

5 halftones, 4 line drawings

I Tatti Studies in Italian Renaissance History


Michelson’s rich book has the great merit of filling a rather surprising gap in the historiography. This void could be partly ascribed to the complexity of the subject and to the large number of sources, primary and secondary, that had to be consulted for such a work. The Pulpit and the Press is based on a vast number of sixteenth-century books, and Michelson demonstrates a solid command of the secondary literature, both in Italian and in English… Michelson’s book is by far the most detailed and comprehensive work on preaching in early modern Italy and is a valuable contribution to our understanding of Italian religious history of that time.—Stefano Dall’Aglio, Renaissance Quarterly

By focusing on vernacular sermons, Emily Michelson significantly expands our understanding of the interplay between preaching, printing, and Catholic reform. Her stimulating study highlights the efforts of Italian preachers to counter heresy while satisfying lay interest in scripture. Challenging preconceptions about the Church’s monolithic response to Protestantism, it reveals the range of positions possible within a broader Catholic consensus. This is first-rate scholarship.—Amy Burnett, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

The Pulpit and the Press in Reformation Italy is much more than a meticulous study of ‘the barely known mainstream’ of Catholic vernacular preaching in the sixteenth century. It changes our understanding of early modern Italian Catholicism as such. Through the texts and textures of sermons that serve both a social and spiritual history, Emily Michelson shows how Catholic clergy sought to instruct and reform lay souls by embracing biblical preaching while avoiding Protestant heresy. This book is an outstanding achievement.—Brad S. Gregory, University of Notre Dame, author of The Unintended Reformation: How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society

This informative book adds to the increasingly rich image of early modern Catholicism by focusing on the cares and methods of vernacular preachers in mid-sixteenth century Italy, where (at least to preachers) heresy seemed to be everywhere. Emily Michelson shows memorably and convincingly that Italy remained Catholic less because of stern decrees and reactionary policies and more because of these legions of diligent, if now-obscure, preachers.—Craig Harline, Brigham Young University

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