In: Shaping the Profession
Tiziana Faitini
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This book is the result of a research I have been carrying out for years, and great are the debts I have incurred, in Trento – where this project was started, and now comes to an end – and around Europe.

I owe a debt of special gratitude to Michele Nicoletti, who has, among other things, encouraged me in drawing this project to a close, with endless patience and trust. I am also thankful to the Department of Humanities in Trento, for the assistance I received in different forms over the years. In 2016 I was a postdoctoral fellow at the Leibniz Institute for European History in Mainz: I thank the directors of the Institute, Irene Dingel and Johannes Paulmann, together with Christopher Voigt-Goy and Joachim Berger, for the financial support and the opportunity. In 2018-2019, I was a Marie Skłodowska-Curie COFUND fellow at the Max Weber Centre for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies in Erfurt. I wish to express my thankfulness to its directors, Hartmut Rosa and Jorge Rüpke, for the grant I obtained from the Centre in the framework of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, and to Nathan Alexander, Matteo Bortolini, Carmen González Gutiérrez, Giulia Pedrucci, Martina Roesner, Sanam Roohi, Camilla Smith, and Juhi Tyagi for having made Erfurt an even better place.

During these years, I have had fruitful interactions and inspired conversations with a number of other scholars, receiving feedback, material, or, purely and simply, enthusiasm, from them. I would like to mention especially Gabriel Abend, Mirko Alagna, Paolo Barbieri, Anselmo Baroni, Federico Bellini, Guido Boffi, Sandro Chignola, Andrea Colli, Orazio Condorelli, Conal Condren, Paolo Costa, Dimitri D’Andrea, Paolo Evangelisti, Carlo Fantappiè, Lucia Galvagni, Francesco Ghia, Knud Haakonssen, Robert A. Kolb, Maria Malatesta, Giovanni Mari, Fabio Mengali, Elvira Migliario, Paolo Napoli, Luca Nogler, Massimo Palma, Gian Luigi Prato, Marco Rizzi, Fritz Rüdiger Volz, Gianni Santucci, Arianna Sforzini, Leslie Sheinman, Debora Spini, Federico Tomasello, Emiliano Urciuoli, Tullio Viola, Giovanni Zampieri, and Cornel Zwierlein.

Many European libraries have facilitated my work by providing assistance or by virtue of their digitisation projects: these include the Cambridge University Library, the Bibliothèque Denis Diderot in Lyon, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France and the Bibliothèque Saint-Geneviève in Paris, the Maurits Sabbe Library and the Library of the Institute of Philosophy in Leuven, the University Library in Trento, and the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in München.

I am very grateful to Wim Decock for inviting me to submit my manuscript to the series “Law and Religion in the Early Modern Period,” and to Herman Selderhuijs for having patiently awaited, and finally accepted, my text. I also thank Martina Kayser, Sophia Zschache, and Lisa Sauerwald for their editorial guidance.

Very special thanks are due to Rachel Murphy and Nathan Alexander for their essential aid in building, clarifying, and strengthening my English writing. I know that without their patient competence and friendly help this book would never have been completed.

Finally. An academic career means, all too frequently, a prolonged existential and professional precariousness. Thanks to the one who has shared this with me from the very start – “porto quieto e riposo.”


This book partially builds on previously published research results, which have been thoroughly revised, expanded, and rewritten.

A first version of part of this research was presented in my book, Il lavoro come professione: Una storia della professionalità tra etica e politica (Roma: Aracne, 2016). Chapter 3 draws on previously published articles: “The Latin Roots of ‘Profession’: Metamorphoses of the Concept in Law and Theology from Ancient Rome to the Middle Ages,” History of Political Thought 38, no. 4 (Exeter: Imprint Academic, 2017): 603-22; and, for §3.3, “Towards a Spiritual Empire: The Christian Exegesis of the Universal Census at the Time of Jesus’s Birth,” in The Church and Empire, eds. S.J. Brown, C. Methuen, and A. Spicer. Studies in Church History 54 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018), 16-30. §4.6.1 elaborates on the analysis I carried out in “Shaping the Profession: Some Thoughts on Office, Duty, and the Moral Problematisation of Professional Activities in the Counter-Reformation,” Journal of Early Modern Christianity 7 (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2020): 177-200.

I thank the publishers for permission to adapt and reproduce some passages from these texts.

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