History Department
History Department

IHS Talk: "A Forgotten Sin: Acceptio Personarum and Early Modern Debates on Personal Merit," by Nicole Reinhardt, Durham University UK

Wed, May 3, 2017 | GAR 4.100

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

A major problem accompanying the expansion of the state in the early modern period was the distribution of offices. But what did it mean to appoint a qualified person, and how free were monarchs to appoint ministers, or sell offices? For early modern moral theologians such questions were sources of deep moral and political anxiety, and they debated them fiercely under the label of acceptio personarum (‘respect of person’). As this talk will show, the coordinates of the controversies widened throughout the sixteenth century in line with the expanding geographical, political, and financial horizons of early modern monarchies. Following the critical junctures of the debate allows exploring the ethical turmoil of state-building.

Nicole Reinhardt is Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) for early modern European History at the University of Durham (UK). She studied History and Romance Languages at the universities of Heidelberg, Coimbra, and Freiburg i. Br., and she holds a PhD in History and Civilization from the European University Institute in Florence. She specializes in the comparative history of political and religious culture of seventeenth-century Catholic Europe (Italy, Spain, and France). She has held fellowships at the Harry Ransom Center in Austin/Texas (2017); IAS Princeton (2014-2015); the Max-Weber-Kolleg Erfurt (2011-2012), and she has been visiting professor at the university Paris I-Sorbonne (2011) and the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa (2007). Her latest book, Voices of Conscience: Royal Confessors and Political Counsel in Seventeenth-Century Spain and France, appeared in October 2016 with Oxford University Press.

Read more about Professor Reinhardt's work at:

To RSVP to attend, please email cmeador@austin.utexas.edu.

Sponsored by: Institute for Historical Studies in the History Dept.; Center for European Studies

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