Marco Battistoni

Religious Coexistence and Local Public Life in the Early Modern Period: The Case of the Marquisate of Saluzzo between Reformation and Counter-Reformation, 1530-1630

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Until recently, the historiography of the Reformation and Counter Reformation has traditionally focused on the study of the profound conflicts among confessional groups. A very different situation existed in the Marquisate of Saluzzo, in Piedmont, where the spread of the Reformation did not cause deeply-rooted divisions among the local population, but rather extended and transformed the pre-existing diversity of religious expressions and ritual practices. A wide range of social actors and institutions drew upon this richer religious repertoire to define the boundaries of their activity and their jurisdictional or quasi-jurisdictional powers. The outcome was often very original. The story of Reformation and Counter-Reformation in the Marquisate of Saluzzo undermines the alleged distinction between the spheres of faith and of politics, and encourages us to look at religious change in the light of the local political discourse and practice.

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