Rebecca Messbarger

​Professor of Italian; Affiliate Faculty of History, International and Area Studies, and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Director of Medical Humanities
PhD, University of Chicago

contact info:

office hours:

  • ​Thursday 1:15 - 3:15 PM

mailing address:

  • WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY
  • CB 1077
  • ONE BROOKINGS DR.
  • ST. LOUIS, MO 63130-4899

Professor Messbarger's major research interests center on Italian Enlightenment culture, in particular the place and purpose of women in civic, academic and social life, and the intersection of art and science in the production of anatomical wax models during the age.

For more information, visit Rebecca Messbarger's department profile.

Benedict XIV and the Enlightenment

Benedict XIV and the Enlightenment

Pope Benedict XIV Lambertini (r. 1740–58) was one of the driving forces behind the Italian Enlightenment of the eighteenth century. His campaign to reconcile faith and empirical science, re-launch a dialogue between the Church and the European intellectual community, and expand papal patronage of the arts and sciences helped restore Italy’s position as a center of intellectual and artistic innovation. Benedict XIV and the Enlightenment offers a broad and nuanced assessment of Benedict’s engagement with Enlightenment art, science, spirituality, and culture. The collection’s essays, written by international experts in the field, cover topics ranging from Benedict’s revisions to the Church’s procedures for beatification and sanctification to his patronage of women scientists and mathematicians at the university in Bologna, his birthplace.