This volume is the result of two workshops that took place at the “Center for the Study of Italian History & Culture” of Georgetown University (Fiesole) and dealt with the relationship between Catholicism and the interpretative canons of history. This theme was instrumental to the discussion of the causes leading to the emergence of the concept of ‘decadence’ during the age of the counter-reformation and of the link between Catholicism and ‘anti-modernity’. In keeping with this theme the volume offers a panorama of the various national historiographies in order to highlight the specific ideological and historiographical trends that led to this association. From the discussion emerged both common trends and different declinations of one single phenomenon. Thus, it has been possible to present for the first time both a comparative perspective and a more general view.The association between Catholicism and ‘anti-modernity’, which originated during the age of the Reformation and expressed itself in literature, in historiography, and in political and philosophical thought and – more generally – in the collective imagination has become a cultural phenomenon that reached its zenith in the nineteenth century. It has had a strong impact on the epistemology of historical research, has contributed to shape many different identitary paradigms and has become a distorting lens through which to read the role of Catholicism in political debate and in social dynamics.
Textes by Marcello Fantoni, Chiara Continisio, John T. McGreevy, John O’Malley, John Monfasani, José Martínez Millán, Simon Ditchfield, Manfred Hinz, Helen Hills