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The Place of Truth in Religious Controversies: the case of the Traité de l'eucharistie by the Protestant Philippe Duplessis-Mornay
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Romance Studies and Classics.
2019 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the tension between two conceptions of truth in the discourse of the religious controversies after the French Wars of Religion: truth conceived of as a certainty and truth conceived of as a quest.

The regulated coexistence of Catholics and Protestants in accordance with the Edict of Nantes (1598) fails to resolve the tensions between the two confessions, as attested by the numerous texts of religious controversy published under the Peace. In this war of words, in which each side tries to convince members of the other side to change their opinion and confession, the protagonists do not consider each other as trustworthy. Theologians are thus faced with the problem of achieving credibility and truth holds a central place in their discourse: it may be problematised, presented as a principle, advanced as an argument or aimed as an objective. The controversy shakes the conception of truth as incontestable, as well as the borders between orthodoxy and heterodoxy.

In 1598, the Protestant Philippe Duplessis-Mornay publishes the Traité de l’eucharistie. The treatise addresses one of the most pervasive topics of contention between Catholics and Protestants and prompts many other publications from the other side. The corpus chosen for the study is composed of the preface of the 1604 edition of the treatise. Using Discourse Analysis as a theoretical and methodological framework, this study focuses on the different uses of the term truth, as well as related terms (true, really, truly…), metaphors, opposites (error, untruthfulness) in order to understand the axiological organisation of the author. Two conceptions of truth are distinguished: truth as a certainty and truth as a quest. In the first perspective, the controversy furthers a power struggle in which the adversary is subjected to the division truth-error/untruthfulness. In the second perspective, the controversy seems to unify the protagonists in a common search for truth and a possible conciliation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
French; Linguistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-176433OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-176433DiVA, id: diva2:1375396
Conference
The 2019 AHRC DTP Conference on "Trust and Truth", Cambridge, UK, September 18-20, 2019
Available from: 2019-12-04 Created: 2019-12-04 Last updated: 2019-12-11Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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Language
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Output format
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