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Patron Saint of a World in Crisis: Early Modern Representations of St. Francis Xavier in Europe and Asia

Miller, Rachel (2016) Patron Saint of a World in Crisis: Early Modern Representations of St. Francis Xavier in Europe and Asia. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Recent historical studies have focused on the vital role that Catholic saints played after the Council of Trent, investigating how these holy figures were utilized to alleviate all manner of problems besetting the Post-Tridentine Church, emerging European nation states, and individual Catholics. My dissertation, however, approaches this issue from an art historical perspective, considering how images of St. Francis Xavier, the sixteenth-century Jesuit missionary, exercised considerable agency in an early modern world rife with global crisis. Specifically, I investigate Xaverian prints and paintings created in border zones of early modern Catholicism or in territories of the Iberian empires, particularly Antwerp, Goa, and Naples. In these places, the image of Francis Xavier was consciously utilized to ameliorate crisis situations resulting from the tensions characteristic of cross-cultural interaction, the Jesuits’ evangelization efforts, colonialism, and religious schism. The fundamental contention of my dissertation is that early modern images of saints do not simply reflect the historical circumstances in which they were made. Instead, institutions such as the Society of Jesus, the Portuguese or Spanish empire, and the Catholic Church enlisted the image of Xavier to quell crises globally and propagate an image of the political and spiritual triumph of Latin Christendom.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Miller, Rachelrmm79@pitt.eduRMM790000-0003-1454-7712
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee CoChairSutherland Harris, Annash@pitt.eduASH
Committee CoChairSavage, Kirkksa@pitt.eduKSA
Committee MemberRajagopalan, Mrinalinimrr55@pitt.eduMRR55
Committee MemberNygren, Christopher J.cnygren@pitt.eduCNYGREN0000-0002-2039-4313
Committee MemberManning, Patrickpmanning@pitt.eduPMANNING
Date: 8 June 2016
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 28 March 2016
Approval Date: 8 June 2016
Submission Date: 11 April 2016
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 383
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > History of Art and Architecture
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: St. Francis Xavier, Jesuit patronage, visual culture, Iberian empires, Post-Tridentine Church, Rome, Lisbon, Naples, Antwerp, Goa, Portuguese India
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2016 13:56
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:32


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