Not the Jesuits: "Other" Counter-Reformational Architecture
Session at the Society of Architectural Historians 65th Annual Meeting, Detroit, Michigan, 18-22 April 2012
The Counter Reformation—broadly defined—gave rise to dozens of new religious orders organized locally, regionally, or internationally. All sought to reform and reinvigorate Catholicism from within, and all, in some fashion, employed architecture to this end. Yet while the architecture of the most familiar of these orders, the Jesuits, has been extensively explored, that of many other early modern orders remains relatively neglected, despite their widespread presence in European cities, at important courts, and in global missions.
Architecture of these “other” counter-reformational groups includes many prominent churches and institutional buildings of the era: Borromini’s Oratorio and Casa dei Filippini, Rome; Guarini’s Theatine church of San Lorenzo, Turin; and Mansart’s church of the Visitation, Paris, to name a few. But apart from such highlights, we often have little sense of these orders’ overall architectural production or positioning (with the exception of recent scholarship on Barnabite architecture).
This session therefore seeks to generalize and extend an understanding of the architecture of early modern religious orders beyond Jesuit examples, and invites papers considering the architecture of any non-Jesuit counter-reformational religious groups (including older orders active in the renewal of the Church). Papers may treat architecture anywhere in Europe or beyond (in the orders’ missions) built from the Reformation (c. 1520) through the suppressions of the orders in the late 18th century. Building types discussed could include churches, convents, colleges, hospitals, or libraries, and papers could present case studies of institutional urbanism or design responses to new liturgical, devotional, or political demands (perhaps as influenced by bishops such as Carlo Borromeo). Other approaches might examine an order’s architectural culture: its architectural theory or decision making, priest-architects, architecture in the order’s constitution or educational programs, or adaptation to local conditions across Europe or in missions.
Please consult the full CFP for the conference on the SAH website for details of the online abstract submission system:
Susan Klaiber and Denise Tamborrino
Winterthur, Switzerland and Bologna, Italy
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