Feeling Certainty, Performing Sincerity: The Emotional Hermeneutics of Truth in Inquisitorial and Theatrical Practice

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Chapter in a Book

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Book description: How was the early modern pursuit of knowledge in very different spheres conditioned by a shared desire for certainty? How did this desire in turn link the epistemological crises produced by the religious upheavals of early modern Europe with the development of new scientific methods? This volume recontextualizes the production of knowledge in the early modern period (1550-1700), focusing on the social and institutional dimensions of inquiry in light of political and cultural challenges. The collection explores how uncertainties about religious identities (and even the status of irreligion) challenged traditional modes of learning. As knowledge of all sorts was integrated into different traditions in a context of unprecedented religious questioning, institutions and texts sought new means of controlling and regulating "truth." Questions of representation became newly fraught as the production of knowledge increasingly challenged established orthodoxies.