Author: Jetze Touber
The Oratorian priest Antonio Gallonio (1556-1605) devoted his life to writing about saints. The thread running through his hagiographical oeuvre was renunciation of this world: humility, subservience and endurance. Yet he engaged with the expertise of lay people, jurists, physicians and engineers, so as to appeal to their interests and convert them. In order to emphasize how saints endured torture, healed disease and exercised piety rather than ingenuity, Gallonio ventured into those secular disciplines, even if he did not endorse them. This book surveys Gallonio’s published and unpublished works and his position in Roman society, to expose the tensions between a theocratic clergy and the self-assertion of skilled and scholarly professionals in the Italian Counter-Reformation.
Author: Jetze Touber

Lactantius’s treatise De mortibus persecutorum, which celebrates the end of the persecutions of Christians in the Roman empire, was lost for six centuries. Its discovery in 1678 was a European event which set the sophisticated machinery of information exchange in the republic of letters in motion. Scholars joined forces in expounding the historical significance of the patristic text. However, this collective enterprise was also bound up with theological-political interests. Editors and commentators were all affected by affairs of state and ecclesiastical policy, which conditioned their engagement with the treatise. This article reviews the editorial history of De mortibus persecutorum, during the three decades in which it attracted scholarly attention, and it highlights the specific interests of the scholars involved. The focus will be on Gijsbert Cuper (1644–1716), often depicted as an exemplary member of the republic of letters. His paper legacy allows us to recover the theological-political concerns which informed his investigations.

In: Church History and Religious Culture