Religion, Science, and the Public Imagination: The Restoration of Order in Early Modern France

Part of the The University of Western Ontario Series in Philosophy of Science book series (WONS, volume 58)


On the night of 17–18 October 1534, radical religious reformers posted broadsheets throughout Paris proclaiming war on public idolatry. This “affaire des placards” was a provocation that precipitated the prolonged and violent confrontation between Protestants and Catholics, the French Wars of Religion. The radical reformers attacked “the pompous and proud Papal Mass, ” denying that the words of the celebrating priest changed bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ. To them transubstantiation resembled a magical conjuration, a remnant of medieval ignorance; it was “a diabolical doctrine” that drove “these blind sacrificateurs” to idolatry, to the worship of Satan. As the civil authorities had failed to stop these offenses against religion, true believers had to alert the public to the danger; otherwise a divine vengeance “will soon totally destroy this world, plunging it into desolation, ruin, perdition, and the abyss.”1


Body Politic Public Imagination Civil Authority Real Presence Civil Order 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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