The Invention of the Eyewitness: Witnessing and Testimony in Early Modern France
In an examination of eyewitness travel writing in thirteenth- through sixteenth-century France, Andrea Frisch studies the figure of the witness at a historical juncture and in a cultural context in which that figure is generally thought to have begun to assume a recognizably modern form and function.
Whereas most accounts of early modern travel literature tend to read modern presuppositions about witnessing and testimony back into the material, Frisch approaches the early modern witness in terms of the cultural legacy of the Middle Ages. Through primary readings in law and theology, Frisch documents the tension between the ethical witness (the characteristic witness of premodernity) and the epistemic witness (the modern witness) and explores the impact of that tension on the figure of the witness in pre- and early modern French-language travel literature.
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Lest we assume that the corps - martyr described by Lestringant is a prominent
feature of all firsthand accounts that make a polemical claim to experience ,
however , let us recall that Cartier , Thevet and Castillo were all Catholics ;
indeed , in ...
The American artifacts they claim to possess function very much like Catholic
religious relics whose testimony can only be received via the physical senses .
Their purported encounters with such artifacts could reasonably have been
Long a topic of Catholic theology , as well as of humanist treatises on free will ,
predestination receives relatively little attention by the Council of Trent , which
devotes significantly more time to the sacraments ( indeed , the Council produced