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Persons, the ‘Autobiographical Person’ and Cultural Concepts of the Person: Early Modern Self-narratives from German-speaking Areas in a Transcultural Perspective

Jancke, Gabriele Siebenhüner, Kim (Editor) ; Church, Sally (Editor)

The Medieval History Journal, October 2015, Vol.18(2), pp.346-377 [Periódico revisado por pares]

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  • Título:
    Persons, the ‘Autobiographical Person’ and Cultural Concepts of the Person: Early Modern Self-narratives from German-speaking Areas in a Transcultural Perspective
  • Autor: Jancke, Gabriele
  • Siebenhüner, Kim (Editor) ; Church, Sally (Editor)
  • Assuntos: History & Archaeology
  • É parte de: The Medieval History Journal, October 2015, Vol.18(2), pp.346-377
  • Descrição: Autobiographical texts have long been seen, from a micro-level perspective, as evidence of the ‘individuality’ of the writer, and, from a macro-level perspective, as evidence of the long-term historical development of European or Western individual-oriented society. However, recent research has undertaken to deconstruct this notion, suggesting that ‘Western’ texts are as deeply embedded in a social world and in social-oriented perspectives as those from other world regions. The individualised person is now recognised as just one among many concepts of the person. This article summarises the research that has been conducted during the past two decades on early modern autobiographical writings, primarily from German-speaking areas of the world. It closely examines the interplay between individual and society in one particular autobiography, that of the Zurich professor of Old Testament Studies Konrad Pellikan (1478–1556). Using the concept of the ‘autobiographical person’, it shows his work to be typical of the autobiographies written by one social group—early modern scholars. By comparing this Christian male scholar with his Jewish and Muslim colleagues, the article aims to attain a transcultural, gendered perspective on autobiography. In an attempt to reach some methodological and theoretical conclusions, a set of analytical tools is proposed to distinguish between the perspectives of authors and of later scholars, and also between (a) real persons and their personhood, (b) ‘autobiographical persons’ and (c) cultural concepts of ‘person’. In this way, the ‘person’ is taken into account by scholars as an analytical category, as well as being a set of real-life practices and conceptual notions used by actors in various social, cultural and historical settings.
  • Idioma: Inglês

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