seventeenthcentury figure may be termed the founder of the theology of priesthood, it is
Cardinal Pierre de Bérulle (1575–1629), on whom all later writers on priesthood and reforming activists drew heavily. His reflections culminated in the
formation in 1611, of the Congregation of the Oratory, a company of dedicated secular priests who would correspond to their founder’s notion of the
clerical vocation. When Bérulle died in 1629, the Oratory numbered approximately four hundred members, housed in over sixty locations and overseeing
many students training for the priesthood in
The revolt of democratic Christianity and the rise of public opinion
Jansénisme à la laïcité et les origines de la
déchristianisation (Paris: Editions de la Maison des Sciences de L’Homme,
Conventicles: independent Huguenot congregations.
Doyle, Jansenism, pp. 30, 39.
Van Kley, The Religious Origins of the French Revolution, p. 248.
McManners, Church and Society in Eighteenth-Century France, vol. 2,
pp. 364, 377.
Doyle, Jansenism, pp. 50–1.
McManners, Church and Society in Eighteenth-Century France, vol. 2, p. 428.
On the Parlement of Paris and Jansenism see also J. Swann, Politics and the
Parlement of Paris under Louis XV, 1754
The English deist movement
The English deist movement:
a case study in the
construction of a myth
The essence of this chapter is that it is not possible to understand the
development of the myth of the English deist movement without
grasping the politico-religious context of late-seventeenth- and
early-eighteenth-century England and the growing role of public
opinion and opinion-makers within it. Some preliminary remarks
on the major elements of the politico-religious configuration of late
Tudor and Stuart England are therefore necessary.
undeservedly, remain unfashionable in the historiography of early modern
catholicism. Since the 1950s, the customary concentration on the institutional
aspects of Catholic reform has been counterbalanced by a new emphasis on the
‘religion of the people’. With the welcome broadening of horizons brought by
the histoire des mentalités and socio-historical methods of research, increasing
attention has been paid to the religious culture of the ‘ordinary’ Christians
whose lives were affected, to a greater or lesser extent, by the profound shifts
in belief and
the archbishop of Rouen, François de Harlay de Champvallon, revoked the regulars’
sacramental and preaching privileges in his diocese. Archbishop Harlay
FATHERS, PASTORS AND KINGS
demanded attendance at parish mass on Sundays and feast days, and forbade
religious to preach or to hold congregations and processions at this time. Regular superiors, moreover, were ordered to present their confessors to curés for
their authorisation. Religious not approved in this manner would not be permitted either to confess or to communicate
communicate their views on the perfection of the episcopal state, its pre-eminent place within the ecclesiastical
hierarchy, the existence of episcopal grace and the extensive authority of
prelates, not only to the priests within their congregations but to the episcopate
itself. Through informal contacts within their circle of religious associates and
through formal publications their ideas passed rapidly into the episcopate to
become standard elements of its self-identity. They were also quickly adopted
by apologists of episcopacy among the lesser clergy, and by
episcopal literature, and notably within Godeau’s publications
during the 1650s. He strongly endorsed the principles of the 1625 Déclaration
and incorporated this attitude into his hagiographic works, by adapting the
examples of Charles Borromeo and Augustine of Hippo to contemporary
France. In his Vie de S. Augustin, published in 1652, Godeau examined the life
and vocation of this early church bishop. In seventeenth-century France, religious caused ‘occasions of trouble and dispute’ to a degree unknown in the
primitive church: ‘The auxiliaries do not wish to recognise
Ecclesiastical monarchy or monarchies?
Why did the French episcopate prove so tenacious in opposing the regulars’ calls
for independence through the seventeenth century? Like the bishops’ quarrels
with the curés, these were crises of authority in which the episcopate fought to
assert its disciplinary supremacy over the religious orders. Yet the struggle
between the bishops and the regulars was just one manifestation of a much
larger complexity: the place of the episcopate in the church’s governing hierarchy. Not only did
sixteen.21 Many of these interim bishops were members of religious orders or
chapters or diocesan administrators and thus experienced in ecclesiastical
affairs. Yet the fact remains that the practice of confidence was an institutional
abuse which allowed aristocratic control of church temporalities and a secular
view of the episcopal office to be maintained.
It is fair to say that the status of bishops was in this period lower than at any
other time during the ancien régime. However, this assessment relates to just one
aspect of the episcopal office as it was
and clerics were council appointees whose
religious affiliation and educational and social background had to be acceptable
to the councillors for them to acquire their positions in the first place, and their
advice was frequently followed by the councillors in specific witchcraft cases.
It thus seems reasonable to assume that the beliefs about witchcraft they
expressed in their opinions reflected a similar spectrum of beliefs held by the
councillors themselves. We can also establish the broader framework of elite
beliefs about beneficient witchcraft and popular use