Article ID: CBB443782702

Catholic Spirituality and Astrological Self-Care in Seventeenth-Century France: Jean-Baptiste Morin's Astrologia Gallica (1661) (2020)


Some of the most ambitious attempts by astronomer-astrologers to rethink their art’s epistemic foundations and predictive methods appeared around the middle of the seventeenth century, at the very time when astrology was rapidly becoming marginalised in European academic culture. The French physician-astrologer Jean-Baptiste Morin (1583-1656) offers the most spectacular illustration of this phenomenon. Morin’s Astrologia Gallica (1661) constituted what is arguably the most complete attempt to theorise astrology’s multidisciplinary foundations, and to systematise its interpretive methodology, in the art’s 2,500 year-long history. This paper argues that the aforementioned seventeenth-century attempts at revamping astrology shared many of the deeper epistemic, theological, and political concerns that were the driving forces behind the work of Morin’s philosophical acquaintances (e.g., Descartes, Gassendi, or Mersenne), even if the solutions were different. More specifically, I argue that just as post-Tridentine Catholic theology and spirituality demonstrably shaped the work of these philosophical novatores, so Morin’s project represents the point where the astrological tradition was similarly transformed by this shared religious context.

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Authors & Contributors
Sarasohn, Lisa Tunick
Kollerstrom, Nick
Pantin, Isabelle
Maza, Clelia Martinez
Vidal, Ferdnando
Lewis, John
Lias: Sources and Documents Relating to the Early Modern History of Ideas
Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Western Society for French History
Culture and Cosmos
MHNH (Revista Internacional de Investigación sobre Magia y Astrología Antiguas)
Science in Context
History of Psychology
Peter Lang
Gütersloher Verlagshaus
Cornell University Press
Taylor & Francis
Oxford University Press
Science and religion
Roman Catholicism
Academic disciplines
Discipline formation
Morin, Jean Baptiste
Galilei, Galileo
Gassendi, Pierre
Descartes, René
Richeome, Louis
Urban VIII, Pope
Time Periods
17th century
18th century
16th century
Early modern
United States
Rome (Italy)
South Asia
Great Britain

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