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Converting a NationProselytization as a Nationalist Project

Converting a Nation: Proselytization as a Nationalist Project [The most popular story told of Alessandro Manzoni’s conversion links him to Napoleon, contrasting the religious conservatism of one of Italy’s leading intellectuals with the leader of revolution and secular modernity. On April 2, 1810, the story goes, Alessandro Manzoni was in Paris with his wife Henriette. The City of Lights was celebrating the wedding of Napoleon and Marie Louise, and some of the fires that the crowds lit grew out of control, causing a great deal of confusion and panic. The Manzonis found themselves caught up in the crowds, and to escape the throngs of people Manzoni sought refuge in a nearby church. Accounts of the story diverge at this point: Some versions suggest that Manzoni went in to escape the crowds and that he had a sudden revelation as he sat in the Church of St. Roch.1 According to other narrators, Manzoni’s conversion was precipitated by his separation from his wife in the Parisian crowds. Desperate to find her, Manzoni entered the nearby Church of St. Roch and exclaimed: “God, if you exist, reveal yourself to me, let me find Henriette.”2 Upon successfully finding Henriette in the church, amid the chaos of the celebration, Manzoni declared his renewed faith in God and the Catholic Church.] http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png

Converting a NationProselytization as a Nationalist Project

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References (3)

Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright
© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Nature America Inc. 2008
ISBN
978-1-349-37407-6
Pages
75 –103
DOI
10.1057/9780230615816_4
Publisher site
See Chapter on Publisher Site

Abstract

[The most popular story told of Alessandro Manzoni’s conversion links him to Napoleon, contrasting the religious conservatism of one of Italy’s leading intellectuals with the leader of revolution and secular modernity. On April 2, 1810, the story goes, Alessandro Manzoni was in Paris with his wife Henriette. The City of Lights was celebrating the wedding of Napoleon and Marie Louise, and some of the fires that the crowds lit grew out of control, causing a great deal of confusion and panic. The Manzonis found themselves caught up in the crowds, and to escape the throngs of people Manzoni sought refuge in a nearby church. Accounts of the story diverge at this point: Some versions suggest that Manzoni went in to escape the crowds and that he had a sudden revelation as he sat in the Church of St. Roch.1 According to other narrators, Manzoni’s conversion was precipitated by his separation from his wife in the Parisian crowds. Desperate to find her, Manzoni entered the nearby Church of St. Roch and exclaimed: “God, if you exist, reveal yourself to me, let me find Henriette.”2 Upon successfully finding Henriette in the church, amid the chaos of the celebration, Manzoni declared his renewed faith in God and the Catholic Church.]

Published: Nov 5, 2015

Keywords: French Revolution; Liberal Ideal; Biblical Story; Paternal Authority; Italian Author

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