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Lappa – Religious Conversion in the Venetian Casa dei Catecumeni and the Conceptual Boundaries of the Notion of Fluidity

December 4, 2013 at 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

The Hellenic Heritage Foundation Chair in Modern Greek History at York University presents


Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life Fellow
Columbia University
New York

Religious conversion in the Venetian Casa dei Catecumeni and the conceptual boundaries of the notion of fluidity

Over the past two decades, the idea that religious boundaries and religious identities were ‘fluid’, ‘ambiguous’, ‘malleable’ or ‘imprecise’ has prevailed within the field of early modern studies. Although widely diffused, this understanding remains rather unclear, as imprecision underlies both its function and content. That is, ‘fluidity’ is at times considered a conclusion based on the analysis of early modern boundaries and identities and at other times an analytical framework within which boundaries or identities are interpreted, while more often than not the concept is treated as a general characteristic of early modernity without being further elaborated or historicized. In fact, concepts like fluidity or ambiguity probably tell us less about early modernity and more about the era within which they have emerged, as their diffusion actually reached its peak during the post-cold war period, when the idea of clearly defined nation-states and the closely interlinked modernization theory were seriously challenged, while the notions of globalization and multi-culturalism emerged in order to provide answers to question that the ‘liquid modernity’ posed. The paper will discuss the way these notions have been employed within early modern studies and explore their boundaries and usefulness by looking at the 18th century cases of religious conversion in the Venetian institution of the Casa dei Catecumeni.


December 4, 2013
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Event Category:


History Common Room – Vari Hall (York University)
York University, 4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 2S5 Canada
(416) 736-2100
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