Diabolic Vigilance: Internalised Alertness and Social Control in Tales About the Devil from the Late Medieval and Early Modern Periods
The figure of the Devil significantly shaped cultural ideas of a morally grounded vigilance in early modern Christian Europe, which, in turn, influenced social practices.
The project A02 aims to investigate narrative texts (collections of exemplary or comic tales, compilations of 'Tragica' and 'Teufelbücher', amongst others), as well as picture-text-combinations (such as broadsheets), from the late medieval and early modern periods, which present individual cases of societal and juridical relevance in which demonic or diabolic figures are presented as observers lurking in the background, but also as threats that must be heeded vigilantly and constantly. In this way, forms of social control and phenomena of internalised vigilance can be modelled in a particularly striking fashion.
Our research will, not least, deal with questions relating to the transition/transformation of this form of staged diabolic vigilance over the threshold of the early modern period, as well as with regards to the dawn of the Reformation and confessionalisation.