Early modern Italian preachers who had been condemned by the Holy Office of the Inquisition for words uttered from the pulpit were often forced to abjure the doctrinal errors contained in their sermons. In some cases the abjuration was made in public in the same venue where the heretical statements had been pronounced, supposedly so as to be heard by the same people who had already listened to the incriminated sermons. The text of the abjuration put into writing by the inquisitors was a different version of the spoken words previously uttered by the preacher in church; the defendant had to read it aloud word by word before the same people. This article considers public abjurations as an attempt to substitute the ‘wrong’ orality of the preachers with the ‘right’ orality written by religious authorities, a replacement of the original performance with a new one that would erase from the audience's mind the memory of the heretical propositions. The aim is to analyse the reasons, the nature, the consequences, and the implications of this process.

Voices under Trial. Inquisition, Abjuration, and Preachers’ Orality in Sixteenth-Century Italy

Dall'Aglio Stefano
2017

Abstract

Early modern Italian preachers who had been condemned by the Holy Office of the Inquisition for words uttered from the pulpit were often forced to abjure the doctrinal errors contained in their sermons. In some cases the abjuration was made in public in the same venue where the heretical statements had been pronounced, supposedly so as to be heard by the same people who had already listened to the incriminated sermons. The text of the abjuration put into writing by the inquisitors was a different version of the spoken words previously uttered by the preacher in church; the defendant had to read it aloud word by word before the same people. This article considers public abjurations as an attempt to substitute the ‘wrong’ orality of the preachers with the ‘right’ orality written by religious authorities, a replacement of the original performance with a new one that would erase from the audience's mind the memory of the heretical propositions. The aim is to analyse the reasons, the nature, the consequences, and the implications of this process.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/3712720
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