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Michel de Certeau (1925–1986) was born in 1925 in Chambéry, France. He obtained degrees in classics and philosophy at the universities of Grenoble, Lyon, and Paris. He joined the Society of Jesus in 1950 and was ordained in 1956. He completed a doctorate in theology at the Sorbonne in 1960, for which his thesis topic was the mystical writings of Jean-Joseph Surin. He taught in Paris and San Diego, and died of stomach cancer in 1986. He is especially well-known for his critique of historiography and his analyses of everyday life, particularly its spatial dimension.

Certeau's career can be divided into three stages, with May 1968 as the crucial pivot point. Before then, his work was quite traditional, focused almost exclusively on history-of-religion questions. Then, quite ...

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