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Becoming a New SelfPractices of Belief in Early Modern Catholicism$
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Moshe Sluhovsky

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226472850

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226473048.001.0001

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Examination of Conscience

Examination of Conscience

(p.121) Chapter Five Examination of Conscience
Becoming a New Self

Moshe Sluhovsky

University of Chicago Press

Examination of conscience was one of the oldest religious practices, and was developed already in the deserts of the Western Mediterranean. As a monastic practice, it was a foundation of the relations between abbots and monks. In late medieval Western Europe, examination of conscience became popular in devout lay circles, and it was practiced often on a mutual reciprocal setting. In early modern Catholicism, the examination of conscience increased its popularity. It was recommended to laity and clerics, to men and women, and was now a prerequisite for a confession. Ideally, one was to practice it often, and religious people were encouraged to schedule it up to 7 times a day. One can compare the practice to an incessant interiorized mechanism of self criticism and self control, a wonderful example of subjectiviziation in both its meanings.

Keywords:   introspective mechanism, truth-telling, interiorization

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