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Eschatological Imagination in Italy
This project examined apocalyptic art and thought in Italy: its rich and distinctive style, its abundant use of symbols, allegorical figures, and rhetorical devices. A international conference, held in Cambridge in 2009, brought together scholars of literature, art history, philosophy and religion in order to explore the wealth and complexity of Medieval and Early Modern apocalyptic thought in Italy and to assess its influence on Nineteenth, Twentieth, and Twenty-First century Italian culture to the present day. Rather than depicting Italian apocalypticism as an altogether singular or distinct tradition, we intended to set down, as clearly as possible, the rich and lengthy history of this versatile, constantly changing and increasingly complex cultural phenomenon, its variety of interests, contexts and purposes. Our greatest challenge – and our principal aim throughout the conference – was to underline the existence of a genuine community of content and purpose, a common ground that justifies our investigation of apocalypse culture over the course of so many centuries.
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