The Boys of the Archangel Raphael: A Youth Confraternity in Florence, 1411-1785
Confraternities and their contribution to the fabric of society have become invisible history for us today. Although their activities began in the Renaissance and continued until the end of the Enlightenment, confraternities have not yet found a place in the standard histories of the period, or even in the histories of religion or of the Church.
With The Boys of the Archangel Raphael, Konrad Eisenbichler brings to light the daily life and history of one such organization from its founding in 1411 to its final suppression in 1785. While focusing on the Compagnia dell'Arcangelo Raffaello, the first confraternity to be established in Florence, the author also discusses other, similar organizations. By constantly comparing developments across several confraternities, the book provides us with insight into the entire phenomenon of premodern lay religious associations for youths.
The study is firmly grounded on archival and contemporary documents, and covers a variety of fields of interest: social history, church history, the history of childhood, and the history of art, literature, and music. The Boys of the Archangel Raphael will be the authoritative work on youth confraternities for years to come.
- Series: Heritage
- World Rights
- Page Count: 486 pages
- Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.9in x 9.0in
'Eisenbichler's monographic study of the Archangel Raphael confraternity – from its founding in 1411, through its crucial transformation in 1636, until its final suppression in 1785 – is groundbreaking. First, through a thorough examination of the documentary sources, for the most part unpublished, he is able to reconstruct for the first time the entire history of the brotherhood. Moreover, he examines the group in all its complexity and interdisciplinarity – as a social and civic institution, as a barometer of the changing possibilities and expressions of lay piety, and as a patron of education and the arts. This book represents a significant contribution to confraternity studies, and has important implications for numerous related fields.'
Barbara Wisch, Department of Art and Art History, SUNY Cortland
Author InformationKonrad Eisenbichler is a professor in the Department of Italian Studies at the University of Toronto.
Howard R. Marraro Prize of the American Catholic Historical Association- Winner in 2011
Subjects and Courses