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Grant number like: FB-53316-07

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Mita Choudhury
Vassar College (Poughkeepsie, NY 12604-0001)

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$24,000 (approved)
$24,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2008 – 12/31/2008

The Cadiere/Girard Affair: Seduction and Heresy in 18th-Century French Political Culture

This project is a microhistory of the 1731 Cadière/Girard trial, in which a young penitent, Catherine Cadière, accused the Jesuit Jean-Baptiste Girard, her former spiritual director, of bewitchment, seduction, and heresy. The trial illustrates how the theological and political disputes over the anti-Jansenist papal bull Unigenitus (1713) transformed a scandal involving confessional irregularity into a national political minefield. The appeals made to the public and the multilayered public response to the trial reveal the emergence of modern political values. Numerous sources, which included legal briefs, pamphlets, and fiction, pointed to a secular community comprised of autonomous individuals.