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Reforming French CultureSatire, Spiritual Alienation, and Connection to Strangers$
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George Hoffmann

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198808763

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198808763.001.0001

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The Devotional Force of Incredulity

The Devotional Force of Incredulity

(p.73) 3 The Devotional Force of Incredulity
Reforming French Culture

George Hoffmann

Oxford University Press

Geographic foreignness (more often imagined than not) could also transform into temporal alienation to the degree that reformers’ ideal of resuscitating the primitive Church of apostolic times implied they belonged to another time. Temporal estrangement frequently figured itself as “incredulousness” at the mores of contemporary France. Though at times seeming skeptical in spirit, this incredulity proved one of “holy horror.” Thus, the Reformation’s sense of historical detachment did not lead to modern disenchantment. Although the religious conflicts could drive away some French sympathizers (Rabelais proves particularly instructive in this regard), Reformation attacks on credulity aimed at the traditional understanding of religion as an exchange of debts and did not harbor hidden secular impulses.

Keywords:   Henri Estienne, incredulity, horror, skepticism, detachment, disenchantment, credo/credit, temporal estrangement, interim, Rabelais

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