By Peter A. Mazur

In the 16th and 17th centuries, conversion took on a brand new value in the Catholic global, as its leaders confronted the problem of increasing the church's succeed in to new peoples and continents whereas whilst reinforcing its authority within the outdated global. in accordance with new archival study, this booklet information the extreme tales of converts who embraced a brand new spiritual identification in a territory the place papal authority and Catholic orthodoxy have been arguably at their most powerful: the Italian peninsula. via an research of either the original options hired through clerics to draw and teach converts, and the biographies of the boys and women—soldiers, aristocrats, and charlatans—who negotiated new positions for themselves in Rome and the opposite towns of the peninsula, a brand new photograph of Italy throughout the Counter-reformation emerges: a spot the place repression and toleration alternated in unforeseen methods, leaving room for negotiation and trade with individuals of rival faiths.

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