Martyr Cults in Nineteenth-Century Italy

TitleMartyr Cults in Nineteenth-Century Italy
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsRiall, Lucy
JournalThe Journal of Modern History
Date Published06/2010

Yet, although the martyr was a compelling symbol of collective belonging, nationalist ownership of the symbol was far from secure. In this article, I will show how similar images of heroic self-sacrifice could be deployed with equal skill by the Catholic Church in its mobilization against Italian nationalism and as part of its assault on the threat of revolution. During the climactic years of the Italian Risorgimento (1840–70), Catholic martyrs and nationalist “citizen martyrs” multiplied in number, and they formed the basis for two rival cults that jostled against each other, at once bitterly hostile and intimately related. The connection and divergence between Catholic and nationalist martyrs in Italy, and the consequences for our understanding of both modern Catholicism and Italian nationalism, form the subject of this article. ... [From JSTOR]

Short TitleThe Journal of Modern History
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