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Architecture of Thought$
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Andrzej Piotrowski

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816673049

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816673049.001.0001

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Structures of Tolerance and Religious Domination

Structures of Tolerance and Religious Domination

(p.93) 3 Structures of Tolerance and Religious Domination
Architecture of Thought

Andrzej Piotrowski

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter addresses issues of domination, identified as the elimination of critical content from visual representation. It shows that the shift from a modality of thought characterizing the Reformation to that of the Counter-Reformation in Europe hinged on representation of the relationship between power and religion. The Jesuits initially attempted to counterbalance a politically subversive character of Protestant representations of order only to learn that, instead of fighting rebellious ways of thinking, it was more productive to redirect believers’ fascinations. Thus, the chapter illustrates how the Society of Jesus appropriated—removed the ideological content and used—prevalent interests in visual experimentation. By appropriating the Reformation’s artistic sensitivity and associating its initial characteristics with meaningless mannerisms, the forces of the Counter-Reformation disarmed, or rather erased from perception, the critical ideas of their opponents. In that way the manifestations of power relationships in religion became imperceptible.

Keywords:   domination, visual representation, Reformation, Counter-Reformation, Jesuits, art, religion

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