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This book argues that sixteenth-century European encounters with the newly discovered Mexicans (in the Aztec Empire) and the newly dominant Ottoman Empire can only be understood in relation to the cultural and intellectual changes wrought by the Reformation. Carina L. Johnson chronicles the resultant creation of cultural hierarchy. Starting at the beginning of the sixteenth century, when ideas of European superiority were not fixed, this book traces the formation of those ideas through proto-ethnographies, news pamphlets, Habsburg court culture, gifts of treasure, and the organization of collections.Read more
- Examines the significance of material culture, ceremonial practices, and texts in cultural production about non-Europeans
- Explores the significance of both the expanding Ottoman Empire and the New World in the formation of ideas about cultural hierarchy (or proto-ethnography)
- Argues that the Reformation was key in transforming European ideas about non-Europeans
Reviews & endorsements
“In this original, imaginative, and solidly researched book, Johnson draws on an impressive array of textual and visual evidence to answer the following intriguing questions: how did the Habsburg realms receive and process information on Meso-Americans of the New World and on Turks of the Ottoman Empire, and in what ways were the actual persons, images, and cultural artifacts of these non-European peoples and their material cultures represented and used during the sixteenth century? The result is an impeccable work of scholarship with complex and subtle arguments.” – R. Po-chia Hsia, The Pennsylvania State UniversitySee more reviews
“In this fascinating study that assesses the sophisticated information networks that brought news of the Mexican and Ottoman empires to the Habsburg realms, Carina Johnson offers new insights into the creation of cultural hierarchies in sixteenth-century Europe. From the collecting habits of European elites to the new attitudes that developed toward the spoils of the New World in the wake of the Protestant and Catholic reformations, Johnson explores a remarkably wide range of sources as she provides us with a series of challenging reflections on the formation of cultural boundaries in this critical period.” – Howard Louthan, University of Florida
“In this innovative rethinking of the relationship between the Reformation and early modern cultural exchange, Carina Johnson vividly demonstrates how religious conflict altered European perceptions of not only Christian objects and symbols, but also of Ottomans, North Africans, and Tlaxcalans and their material cultures. Using an impressive array of archival materials, she shows how the Habsburg monarchy formulated a cultural hierarchy that progressively exoticized and demonized non-Europeans and heterodox Christians as a means to legitimate its authority in an increasingly diverse and conflicted world.” – Allyson M. Poska, University of Mary Washington
"a throught-provoking work." -Richard L. Kagan, Renaissance Quarterly
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- Date Published: September 2011
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9780521769273
- length: 340 pages
- dimensions: 242 x 161 x 27 mm
- weight: 0.59kg
- contains: 32 b/w illus.
- availability: In stock
Table of Contents
Part I. Categories of Inclusion:
1. Cultures and religions
2. Iberia after Convivencia
3. Aztec regalia and the reformation of treasure
Part II. Experiments of Inclusion:
4. Boundaries and cultures of diplomacy in central Europe
5. Imperial authority in an era of confessions
6. Collecting idolatry and the emergence of the exotic
Part III. Conclusion:
7. Categorical denials.
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