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Diane Publishing Books
Blasphemy: Impious Speech in the West From the Seventeenth to the Nineteenth Century
Alain Cabantous (au); Eric Rauth (tr). Takes us on a journey through the Christian West with braggarts, craftsmen, soldiers, & sailors & their coarse talk. A fascinating chronicle of faith in the Word, & in words, & the length to which people have gone to defend sacred ideas. Author Cabantous is France’s most respected historian of the sea, pirates, & the navy. He shows that the language of blasphemy, a language of accusation & defense, was a battleground where religious dogma & secular rule clashed, with their respective agents -- the priest & the judge -- competing to define the terms of obedience & the proper reaction to a variety of curses. More than simply a comprehensive inventory of the uses & bans on blasphemy, this is a lively analysis of the symbolic power of language itself.
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