News from the Group

This section presents news on the research group, its members and its scientific projects.
Member of the Research Group defends her PhD thesisAugust 2021 

Member of the Research Group defends her PhD thesis
August 2021

Anna Clara Lehmann Martins successfully defended her doctoral thesis on 8 July 2021 at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (Law), with a cotutelle agreement with the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster (History). The thesis was evaluated by a commission formed by: Ricardo Sontag (supervisor), Olaf Blaschke (supervisor), Benedetta Albani (co-supervisor), Carlos Salinas Araneda, José Pedro Paiva, François Jankowiak, and Ítalo Santirocchi.

In her work, Anna Clara dived into the realm of the legal practices of governance of the Catholic Church during Brazil’s Second Reign (1840-1889). She analysed how local priests, state bureaucrats and cardinals employed the disciplinary part of the Council of Trent when dealing with administrative problems of mixed nature.

It was the Research Group’s first thesis to examine sources of the Congregation of the Council from the 19th century. Exchanges between the Brazilian clergy and the dicastery were witnessed in 106 positiones and 79 resolutiones, encompassing topics like the following: examination for benefices, elections of the vicar capitular, residence, ecclesiastical migration, seminaries, and discipline of the clergy. The thesis also shed light on the entanglements between the Congregation of the Council and other institutions: those that were part of the Holy See (the Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs) or that represented it (the Apostolic Internunciature in Brazil), and those from national states (the Brazilian Council of State), besides a wide range of local actors.

In short, Anna Clara’s work provided a colourful and precise picture of the Catholic Church’s everyday administration – as grounded in multilevel interaction and multinormativity.

Image: Saint Francis Convent, Olinda, Pernambuco, Brazil.
New publication on the "The Body of the Priest (Der Körper des Priesters)" in the early modern periodJuly 2021

New publication on the "The Body of the Priest (Der Körper des Priesters)" in the early modern period
July 2021

Does a Catholic priest have to have an unimpaired body? Is a clergymen allowed to hide a bodily defect? What happens if the female gender of a nun is called into doubt? Who decides which kind of body is suitable for a cleric and which one is not? Using previously unexplored archival sources, Brendan Röder, former doctoral student of the Max Planck Research Group ‘Governance of the Universal Church after the Council of Trent’, shows how important these questions were for the daily lives of clerics, communities and for the institution of the Catholic Church in the early modern period. The book analyses the body as an object of negotiation between simple clerics, bishops and popes as well as laymen and medical experts. It sheds light on long-standing patterns of exclusion but also shows how creatively and flexibly unusual bodies were dealt with in practice.
MPIeR’s trip to Rome!  October 2017

MPIeR’s trip to Rome!
October 2017

On the first week of October 2017 a large group of MPIeR researchers and staff members participated of an excursion to Rome that was organized by Department II and the Max Planck Research Group III.   This academic trip had the purpose of promoting dialogue between the MPIeR and research institutions based in Rome, allowing discussion on related research topics, publication issues, working methodologies, among other matters.   In such sense, the group visited the Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte – Bibliotheca Hertziana and the Deutsche Historische Institut in Rom, where presentations and debate from both host and visiting members took place in two fruitful working days.   The trip also included a guided tour to two of the most fascinating archives in Rome, the Archives of the Fabbrica di San Pietro and the Vatican Secret Archives, which gave further insight to the work that MPFGIII and other MPIeR members carry out on a regular basis at Vatican Archives.   It is worth highlighting that, at the DHI Rom, Dr. Benedetta Albani, along with MPFGIII and SFB researchers, made a presentation on their common projects and specific thematic and methodological developments. The communication was entitled “Governance of the Universal Church after the Council of Trent. Communication and actors in a global information regime”. This was the first group presentation of MPFGIII and SFB projects lead by Dr. Benedetta Albani!
In memoriam: Claudio BellaJuly 2017

In memoriam: Claudio Bella
July 2017

The Max-Planck Research Group would like to remember the photographer Claudio Bella, who passed away last July after battling an unexpected illness. Active as a photographer since 1969, Claudio Bella specialized in the digitalization and digital archiving of ancient and rare books and documents. Over his long career he organized several exhibitions while working with some of the most important libraries and archives in Rome and elsewhere. Since 2016, Claudio Bella and his team at the “Agenzia Fotografica B.M. Foto” had been cooperating with the Research Group in the digitalization of one important documentary series at the Vatican Secret Archives, the Libri Decretorum of the Congregation of the Council. The scanned documents, supplied along with a database describing the contents, will in the future be available for consultation at the Max-Planck Institute for European Legal History, as well as at the Vatican Secret Archives. Over these years we have had the opportunity to appreciate his professionalism as well as to observe his passion and dedication to his work. Claudio’s contribution to our project will never be forgotten.
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