The Geographies and Methodologies of Religion in the Journal of Early Modern History

in Journal of Early Modern History
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Looking at historiography and methodology for the risks of Eurocentrism and presentism, this essay reflects on the study of the history of religion in the two decades of the Journal of Early Modern History’s life to date. It first counts the locations of the subjects of the Journal’s articles, both generally and specifically on religion, to measure patterns in geographical focus. Considering the language these articles use to describe religion, the essay then draws a contrast between treating religion on its own terms and adapting a more analytical, though invasive, approach. Andrew Gow’s emphasis on continuity between the medieval and the early-modern inspires a late-traditional perspective that avoids both eurocentrism and presentism.

Journal of Early Modern History

Contacts, Comparisons, Contrasts. Early Modernity Viewed from a World-Historical Perspective




Francis Higman, “1350-1750? The Perspective of Intellectual History,” Journal of Early Modern History 1 (1997): 95-106 at 106.


Luke Clossey, “Belief, Knowledge, and Language,” The Cambridge History of the World (Cambridge, 2005), vol. 1: 132-164. Cfr. Simon Ditchfield’s review essay of the History in this issue.


Kenneth Mills, “Mission and Narrative in the Early Modern Spanish World: Diego de Ocaña’s Desert in Passing,” in Faithful Narratives: Historians, Religion, and the Challenge of Objectivity, ed. Andrea Sterk and Nina Caputo (Ithaca, 2014), 115-131 at 115-6.


Ines G. Županov, “Passage to India: Jesuit Spiritual Economy between Martyrdom and Profit in the Seventeenth Century,” Journal of Early Modern History 16 (2012): 121-159 at 124.


Andrew Gow, “Gog and Magog On Mappaemundi and Early Printed World Maps: Orientalizing Ethnography in the Apocalyptic Tradition,” Journal of Early Modern History 2 (1999): 61-88 at 63.


Ines G. Županov, “ ‘One Civility, but Multiple Religions’: Jesuit Mission among St. Thomas Christians in India (16th-17th Centuries),” Journal of Early Modern History 9 (2005): 284-325 at 315-6.


Marc R. Forster, “With and Without Confessionalization. Varieties of Early Modern German Catholicism,” Journal of Early Modern History 1 (1997): 315-43 (my italics).


J. H. Chajes, “Jugments Sweetened: Possession and Exorcism in Early Modern Jewish Culture,” Journal of Early Modern History 1 (1997): 124-69 at 124, 164, and 166 (my italics).


Robert Finlay, “Prophecy and Politics in Istanbul: Charles V, Sultan Suleyman, and the Habsburg Embassy of 1533-1534,” Journal of Early Modern History 2 (1998): 1-31 at 26.


Joan Mezner, “Our Lady of the Rosary, African Slaves, and the Struggle Against Heretics in Brazil, 1550-1660,” Journal of Early Modern History 9 (2005): 371-97 at 371-2.


Tara Alberts, “Catholic Written and Oral Cultures in Seventeenth-Century Vietnam,” Journal of Early Modern History 16 (2012): 383-402 at 395.


Ananya Chakravarti, “In the Language of the Land: Native Conversion in Jesuit Public Letters from Brazil and India,” Journal of Early Modern History 17 (2013): 505-524 at 508 and 510.


Županov, “One Civility,” 318-9.


Markus Friedrich, “Government and Information-Management in Early Modern Europe. The Case of the Society of Jesus (1540-1773),” Journal of Early Modern History 12 (2008): 539-63 at 345.


Emanuele Colombo, “A Muslim Turned Jesuit: Baldassarre Loyola Mandes (1631-1667),” Journal of Early Modern History 17 (2013): 479-504 at 483.


Giuseppe Marcocci, “Conscience and Empire: Politics and Moral Theology in the Early Modern Portuguese World,” Journal of Early Modern History 18 (2014): 473-94 at 476.


Rick Warner, “ ‘Ambivalent Conversions’ in Nayarit: Shifting Views of Idolatry,” Journal of Early Modern History 6 (2002): 168-84 at 169 and 181.


Jack A. Goldstone, “Efflorescences and Economic Growth in World History: Rethinking the ‘Rise of the West’ and the Industrial Revolution,” Journal of World History 13 (2002): 323-389 at 333.


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