Culture & History Digital Journal, Vol 6, No 2 (2017)

The Confessing Subject and the Construction of Modern Catholic Selves


https://doi.org/10.3989/chdj.2017.013

Moshe Sluhovsky
Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Department of History-Mount Scopus, Israel
orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0001-8228-6935

Abstract


Historians and sociologists have argued that the practices of confession played a major role in the transition to modern, introspective individuality. Until the 1970s, tough, the literature had dealt mostly with Protestantism and Protestant modes of confession, first and foremost the practice of writing spiritual diaries and then reading and rereading them. The article looks at Catholic confessional practices and how they, too, have shaped modern notion of subjecthood. Centering on Foucault’s contribution, the article argue that Catholic confession, just like its Protestant avatar, paved a route to modernity.

Keywords


Confession; Michel Foucault; Confessionalization; Modernity; Subjecthood; Truth-telling

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