The opening of the archives of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1998 has fostered a critical reassessment of the history of the Inquisition and the Index. Yet, most of the studies on the censorship of natural philosophies still focus on the relation between the authors and the institution. It is now possible to have new insight into those doctrinal aspects, but they do not account for all of the Inquisition’s activities; moreover, they might lead to overemphasizing the intellectual coherence of the Inquisition, although new available sources rather show its continuous shifts between dogmatic stances, philosophical questions and ideological policing. In this article, I shall intertwine two different perspectives: the first one focuses on the definition of ‘error’, and on the shifting borders between dogma and speculation on the one hand, and theology and philosophy on the other; the second perspective places censorship at the core of the Inquisition as an institution but aims at analysing the latter rather than the former, within its political and cultural history. Hence, the article first analyses recent trends in scholarship, than deals with atomism in the 17th century, the developments of which it is now possible to know in greater detail. Such a study opens the possibility to observe how censorship plays its part in shaping the disciplines and also to see broader interactions at work, both inside and outside the Roman congregations. The final part of the article sketches the evolution of the censorship of natural philosophies in the 18th century.

Les doutes de l’Inquisiteur. Philosophie naturelle, censure et théologie à l’époque moderne

DONATO, MARIA PIA
2009

Abstract

The opening of the archives of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1998 has fostered a critical reassessment of the history of the Inquisition and the Index. Yet, most of the studies on the censorship of natural philosophies still focus on the relation between the authors and the institution. It is now possible to have new insight into those doctrinal aspects, but they do not account for all of the Inquisition’s activities; moreover, they might lead to overemphasizing the intellectual coherence of the Inquisition, although new available sources rather show its continuous shifts between dogmatic stances, philosophical questions and ideological policing. In this article, I shall intertwine two different perspectives: the first one focuses on the definition of ‘error’, and on the shifting borders between dogma and speculation on the one hand, and theology and philosophy on the other; the second perspective places censorship at the core of the Inquisition as an institution but aims at analysing the latter rather than the former, within its political and cultural history. Hence, the article first analyses recent trends in scholarship, than deals with atomism in the 17th century, the developments of which it is now possible to know in greater detail. Such a study opens the possibility to observe how censorship plays its part in shaping the disciplines and also to see broader interactions at work, both inside and outside the Roman congregations. The final part of the article sketches the evolution of the censorship of natural philosophies in the 18th century.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/21010
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