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Spectacular processions : Early Modern Catholicism through the eyes of Bernard Picart and Jean Frederic Bernard in the Cérémonies et coutumes religieuzes de tous les peoples du monde (1723-1743)

Steff Nellis (UGent)
Author
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Abstract
On May 22th, 1712 Saint Peter’s Square was occupied by a large crowd of people. Following a description of the event, a procession that was installed to celebrate the canonization of a couple of saints was followed by an infinite multitude of people. The festive atmosphere, the large number of devotees and the presence of the pope inflicted heavy emotions on the spectators: people started crying and screaming in order to catch attention and to receive the blessings of Saint Peter at first hand. The description of this day can be read in the intriguing Cérémonies et coutumes religieuses (CCR) by two protestant Frenchmen living in the Netherlands: Bernard Picart and Jean Frederic Bernard. Between 1723 and 1743, they published seven volumes dealing with religious ceremonies. These volumes were unique as the volumes make up one of the earliest bodies of work that compare all the religious ceremonies, customs, festivals, rules, and characteristics known to Western Europe at that time. In the second volume of the CCR, they analyse Catholicism. Because of their shared history of persecution and exile in the wake of Louis XIV’s revocation of the Edict of Nantes, one might think the authors would be very harsh about Catholic rituals. Nevertheless, their criticism is only operating on an implicit level. Indicating that there is something ‘mysterious’ about venerating ceremonials as the canonization, they frame the religious ceremonies and customs of Catholicism as spectacular events tending towards heresy and idolatry. In this contribution, I intend to highlight their criticism on the theatricality of these Catholic rituals by means of the above-mentioned case study. Hence, I argue Picart and Bernard’s CCR should be seen as an important chain in the complex series of multifaceted transfers, translations, and transformations in the history of the Long Reformation.
Keywords
Protestantism, Catholicism, Bernard Picart, Jean Frederic Bernard

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MLA
Nellis, Steff. “Spectacular Processions : Early Modern Catholicism through the Eyes of Bernard Picart and Jean Frederic Bernard in the Cérémonies et Coutumes Religieuzes de Tous Les Peoples Du Monde (1723-1743).” Annual RefoRC Conference On Early Modern Christianity, Abstracts, 2021.
APA
Nellis, S. (2021). Spectacular processions : Early Modern Catholicism through the eyes of Bernard Picart and Jean Frederic Bernard in the Cérémonies et coutumes religieuzes de tous les peoples du monde (1723-1743). In Annual RefoRC Conference On Early Modern Christianity, Abstracts. Online (Budapest).
Chicago author-date
Nellis, Steff. 2021. “Spectacular Processions : Early Modern Catholicism through the Eyes of Bernard Picart and Jean Frederic Bernard in the Cérémonies et Coutumes Religieuzes de Tous Les Peoples Du Monde (1723-1743).” In Annual RefoRC Conference On Early Modern Christianity, Abstracts.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Nellis, Steff. 2021. “Spectacular Processions : Early Modern Catholicism through the Eyes of Bernard Picart and Jean Frederic Bernard in the Cérémonies et Coutumes Religieuzes de Tous Les Peoples Du Monde (1723-1743).” In Annual RefoRC Conference On Early Modern Christianity, Abstracts.
Vancouver
1.
Nellis S. Spectacular processions : Early Modern Catholicism through the eyes of Bernard Picart and Jean Frederic Bernard in the Cérémonies et coutumes religieuzes de tous les peoples du monde (1723-1743). In: Annual RefoRC Conference On Early Modern Christianity, Abstracts. 2021.
IEEE
[1]
S. Nellis, “Spectacular processions : Early Modern Catholicism through the eyes of Bernard Picart and Jean Frederic Bernard in the Cérémonies et coutumes religieuzes de tous les peoples du monde (1723-1743),” in Annual RefoRC Conference On Early Modern Christianity, Abstracts, Online (Budapest), 2021.
@inproceedings{8707624,
  abstract     = {{On May 22th, 1712 Saint Peter’s Square was occupied by a large crowd of people. Following a description of the event, a procession that was installed to celebrate the canonization of a couple of saints was followed by an infinite multitude of people. The festive atmosphere, the large number of devotees and the presence of the pope inflicted heavy emotions on the spectators: people started crying and screaming in order to catch attention and to receive the blessings of Saint Peter at first hand. The description of this day can be read in the intriguing Cérémonies et coutumes religieuses (CCR) by two protestant Frenchmen living in the Netherlands: Bernard Picart and Jean Frederic Bernard. Between 1723 and 1743, they published seven volumes dealing with religious ceremonies. These volumes were unique as the volumes make up one of the earliest bodies of work that compare all the religious ceremonies, customs, festivals, rules, and characteristics known to Western Europe at that time. In the second volume of the CCR, they analyse Catholicism. Because of their shared history of persecution and exile in the wake of Louis XIV’s revocation of the Edict of Nantes, one might think the authors would be very harsh about Catholic rituals. Nevertheless, their criticism is only operating on an implicit level. Indicating that there is something ‘mysterious’ about venerating ceremonials as the canonization, they frame the religious ceremonies and customs of Catholicism as spectacular events tending towards heresy and idolatry. In this contribution, I intend to highlight their criticism on the theatricality of these Catholic rituals by means of the above-mentioned case study. Hence, I argue Picart and Bernard’s CCR should be seen as an important chain in the complex series of multifaceted transfers, translations, and transformations in the history of the Long Reformation.}},
  author       = {{Nellis, Steff}},
  booktitle    = {{Annual RefoRC Conference On Early Modern Christianity, Abstracts}},
  keywords     = {{Protestantism,Catholicism,Bernard Picart,Jean Frederic Bernard}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  location     = {{Online (Budapest)}},
  title        = {{Spectacular processions : Early Modern Catholicism through the eyes of Bernard Picart and Jean Frederic Bernard in the Cérémonies et coutumes religieuzes de tous les peoples du monde (1723-1743)}},
  url          = {{https://reforc.com/events/tenth-annual-reforc-conference-on-early-modern-christianity/}},
  year         = {{2021}},
}