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Early Modern Visual Systems of Religious Encounter

A Comparative Study

The project shall investigate visual strategies elaborated in early modern Europe in order to facilitate communication between Christians and non-Christians and encourage the evangelization of the latter. The hypothesis the project researcher would like to explore is that, in this epoch, a labyrinth of influences connects such visual experiments in different parts of the globe (the Americas, Asia, the 'internal missions' of Europe), progressively leading to the shaping of a common 'visual rhetoric of religious persuasion'.

Through historical contextualization and comparative close-reading of these visual experiments, the research seeks to pinpoint the genesis of the idea of visual religious communication in the early modern world, an idea that has deeply influenced the status of images in inter-religious contacts both in the modern and in the contemporary epoch.