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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 26 January 2022

From Communion to Communication

From Communion to Communication

(p.157) 6 From Communion to Communication
Reforming French Culture

George Hoffmann

Oxford University Press

Satires’ vitriolic nature made them poor tools of propaganda. Rather than as instruments of persuasion, they often read as anxious to foreground their own inflated diffusion, power to provoke, and coherence through retrospective serialization that suggested a fictional continuity. If part publicity stunt, however, these satires also cannily exploited and extended the reformed theological concept of “communication” by which the traditional corporeal understanding of the social body, figured in Communion, was replaced with spiritual connection to Jesus and, ultimately, to fellow worshipers. Satires’ emphasis on foreignness and distance from one’s neighbors in particular facilitated a kind of “stranger sociability” with fellow reformed readers they did not know. This theological origin suggests that the modern public sphere began with the communication of the Mass before it transformed into mass communication.

Keywords:   Théodore de Bèze (Beza), Communion, communication, communication of properties, publicity, printing, publics, international Reformation, political theology, community

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