Miles Pattenden

Miles Pattenden

Miles Pattenden is Senior Research Fellow in Medieval and Early Modern Studies at ACU. He specialises in the history of the Catholic Church and his books include Pius IV and the Fall of the Carafa (Oxford University Press, 2013) and Electing the Pope in Early Modern Italy, 1450-1700 (Oxford University Press, 2017).

Miles Pattenden reviews 'Maria Theresa: The Habsburg empress in her time' by Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger, translated by Robert Savage

June 2022, no. 443 25 May 2022
Miles Pattenden reviews 'Maria Theresa: The Habsburg empress in her time' by Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger, translated by Robert Savage
Few Australians today will have heard of the Empress Maria Theresa (1717–80). And yet this queen of Hungary and Bohemia, archduchess of Austria, ruler of Mantua and Milan, who was also grand duchess of Tuscany and Holy Roman Empress by marriage, bestrode the eighteenth-century stage like a dumpy colossus. The mother of some sixteen children, she styled herself as matriarch for a nation, while th ... (read more)

‘Father Stu: The consolations of a calling’ by Miles Pattenden

ABR Arts 09 May 2022
‘Father Stu: The consolations of a calling’ by Miles Pattenden
What makes a man choose to be a Catholic priest? The cynical and snide these days might bring up an unhealthy interest in other people’s children. And yet, historically, the calling to the cloth has often been a noble one, as likely an impulse driven by spiritual yearning and zeal for social justice as mere careerism or a flight from normative sexuality. The Catholic Church, which faces a crisis ... (read more)

‘Benedetta’: Paul Verhoeven’s ‘convent life gone wrong’

ABR Arts 07 February 2022
‘Benedetta’: Paul Verhoeven’s ‘convent life gone wrong’
Catholicism gets a bad rap when it comes to sex these days. The Church fixates on condoms and abortion. It isn’t always big on homosexuality either. Paul Verhoeven’s ‘historically inspired’ film, on one level, explores the hypocrisies that arise from such callow credos: the religious renounce the flesh but flagrantly eroticise spiritual and interpersonal relationships. Carnal obsessions ab ... (read more)

Miles Pattenden reviews 'To Kidnap a Pope: Napoleon and Pius VII' by Ambrogio A. Caiani

May 2021, no. 431 27 April 2021
Miles Pattenden reviews 'To Kidnap a Pope: Napoleon and Pius VII' by Ambrogio A. Caiani
To kidnap one pope might be regarded as unfortunate; to kidnap two looks like a pattern of abusive behaviour. Ambrogio A. Caiani tells the story of Napoleon’s second papal hostage-taking: an audacious 1809 plot to whisk Pius VII (1742–1823) from Rome in the dead of night and to break his stubborn resolve through physical isolation and intrusive surveillance. ... (read more)