There is a very definite and ‘organic’ relation between types of language and the Gramscian notion of hegemony. The development of a new hegemonic conception of the world simultaneously requires the development of a language different from the prevailing one. Moral and intellectual reform implies the use of a new and different language in order to express and proliferate the new modi di pensare [modes of thought] and the new modi di operare [modes of operation/action]. The new version of the sacred texts was both a presupposition and a result of the new conception of the world that the riforma was undertaking. The vernacular was thus at one and the same time a critical instrument in the undermining of the established conception, and a necessary means by which the new conception would become ‘life’ and assume a central place in the practice and experience of the people.

Benedetto Fontana, Hegemony & Power: On the Relation between Gramsci and Machiavelli p37.

In this section Fontana discusses how the Lutheran reformation, changing Christianity from the dominant Catholic norms and creating a Protestant understanding of biblical text, necessitated re-translation of the text and the subsequent development of new language surrounding Christianity which was an intrinsic aspect of the counter-hegemony to the domination by Catholicism.  The Protestant reformation was an important change for Western European society which opened up religion from being governed by the clerical elites to being much more accessible by the mass of people.  It was an important stage in the development towards today’s cultures.

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