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Emblemen van lijdzaamheid. Recht, geneeskunde en techniek in het hagiografische werk van Antonio Gallonio (1556-1605)

25 June 2009

PhD ceremony: J.J. Touber, 14.45 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

Thesis: Emblemen van lijdzaamheid. Recht, geneeskunde en techniek in het hagiografische werk van Antonio Gallonio (1556-1605)

Promotor(s): prof. C.G. Santing, prof. K. van Berkel

Faculty: Arts

 

Touber’s dissertation analyses the hagiographical works of Antonio Gallonio (1556-1605), a priest living and working in Counter-Reformation Rome. All his life Gallonio collected documents regarding saints and he used these documents to write new saints’ lives. In Gallonio’s works Touber has identified elements of law, medicine and engineering. In the sixteenth century these worldly professions gained internal cohesion and acquired a strong position in Western European societies. As a confessor and spiritual director of members of the social elite Gallonio was confronted continuously with the ambitions of these professions with regard to social relationships, the human body and the forces of nature. The juridical, medical and technical elements that Gallonio incorporated in his hagiographical works were aimed at transforming these ambitions into christian humility and resignation. The works of Gallonio can be regarded as a contribution to the subjection of ambitious lay people to the authority of the catholic church: social discipline in the service of confessionalisation. All juridical, medical and technical elements in the works of Gallonio are signs that refer to the vanity of secular endeavours and the superiority of spiritual matters. In this way Gallonio presented the clergy as a profession that was of much more vital importance for humanity than the secular professions.

 

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