International Conference “Making Saints in a Glocal Religion: Practices of Holiness in Early Modern Catholicism” (organised by Birgit Emich, Daniel Sidler, Samuel Weber, and Christian Windler)






Istituto Svizzero di Roma, Rome, Italy

Early modern Catholicism was a religion at once deeply rooted in local contexts and fiercely committed to universal reach in the wake of its overseas expansion. This conference sheds light on this creative tension by looking at the cult of saints. Devotion to men and women who had died in the odor of sanctity often started as local affairs but turned global as Catholics at the grassroots sought to inscribe their cults into the belief system of an emerging world religion. Centering the complex interplay between patterns of localization and universalization, this conference looks at the translocal networks, decision-making processes, and the quest for symbolic predominance at the heart of early modern saint-making in order to tell a new story of Catholicism as the world’s first “glocal” religion.

A report of the conference is available here (in German).

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