The Idea of a Good Death in the Writings of the Bohemian Jesuits of the Post-White-Mountain Period

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Postgraduate student
Affiliation: Lomonosov Moscow State University
Address: , Moscow, Russian Federation
Journal nameSlavianovedenie
EditionIssue 2

The article is devoted to the study of ideas of death in the writings of the Bohemian Jesuits of the XVII‒XVIII centuries. The article examines, what kind of death seems right to Catholic authors, how a pious Christian should prepare for death, and what awaits a person after the transition to another world. Much attention is paid in the article to the identification of the specifics of the ideas about death formed in the Catholic texts of the early Modern period. These aspects are examined in the contextof the violent re-Catolization of the Bohemian lands, which began after the Battle of the White Mountain (1620). Czech-speaking texts were chosen for analysis because they were intended for a wide audience and can show, what views the preachers suggested to people. For the authors of the post-White Mountain period «good» death was less important than pious life, which was necessary to achieve salvation. The writings of this period are characterized by the motives of memento mori, life as a preparation for death and death as a deliverance from the sufferings of this world. The article concludes that the ideas about death served as an instrument of influencing people, which was especially important during the confessionalization and re-Catholization.

KeywordsJesuits, re-Catholization of the Bohemian lands, Counter-Reformation, post-White Mountain period, Catholic church.
Publication date30.04.2023
Number of characters24641
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