This book explores how conceptions of episcopacy (government of a church by bishops) shaped the identity of the bishops of France in the wake of the reforming Council of Trent (1545–63). It demonstrates how the episcopate, initially demoralised by the Wars of Religion, developed a powerful ideology of privilege, leadership and pastorate that enabled it to become a flourishing participant in the religious, political and social life of the ancien regime. The book analyses the attitudes of Tridentine bishops towards their office by considering the French episcopate as a recognisable caste, possessing a variety of theological and political principles that allowed it to dominate the French church.
Barthélemy des Martyrs and the acclaimed archbishop of Milan, Charles Borromeo, as examples of the excellent Tridentine bishop, Jedin straightforwardly
characterised this model as a pastorate imbued with sane doctrine, preaching
and administrative zeal and personal virtue.5 This was the episcopal spirit of the
Counter-Reformation, a powerful contributor to the fervour of action and
engagement with the world that Outram Evennett identified as the fundamental characteristic of Catholic reform during the early modern era.6
With some significant exceptions, however, bishops
the development of the pastorate. Doing so allows links to be
drawn between contemporary and past manifestations of this operation of
power. It highlights the contemporary differences that can be brought to
light through analysis of the Channel project and, finally, allows important
conclusions to be drawn regarding how Channel mobilises pastoral professions
in order to both produce and then police the boundaries of ‘British’
Targeting individuals at risk, it deploys a language of care,
seeking to act on the
of that role gave birth to an “immense institutional network” of pastoral relationships claiming to be coextensive with the entire Christian community, with the result that
[I]n Christianity the pastorate gave rise to an art of conducting, directing, leading, guiding, taking in hand, and manipulating men, an art of monitoring them and urging them on step by step, an art with the function of taking charge of men collectively and individually throughout their life and at every moment of their existence. 96
In the Church, that is, there developed an
immediately put into practice by
bishops; the theological underpinning of these rules was partially sacrificed in
order to restore momentum to conciliar deliberations. Yet this simply postponed the problems of jurisdiction and droit divin for the future.
A slightly similar result arose in relation to those decrees describing the
episcopal pastorate and bishops’ spirituality, but for quite different reasons.
Any analysis of this legislation is complicated by the fact that successive historians have read its directives rather differently. According to Giuseppe Alberigo,
than to listen to what God had to say to them through the preaching
of the word . . . The leadership passed to a young man’s hands, to the hands
of one considered less suitable than themselves . . . The Revival took a very
different path from the one they wished it to take.21
This transfer of power and the pastorate’s loss of control over the
revival movement was bound up with the critique of history and selfhood developed in Roberts’s theology.
Roberts’s theology was born out of the conventional Christian distinction between the individual self and the divine soul
function as guidebooks for bishops. However, the abundance of texts means that
they repay closer exploration on several fronts, for they teach much about the
germination and dissemination of episcopal ideals. First, how did their detailed
construction of episcopacy compare with those described in the previous
chapters? The answer to this question is as relevant for the pastoral angle of
episcopacy as it is for the jurisdictional and theological, and is directly related
to the chapter’s second major objective of tracking the emergence of the ideal
Grief and passion in the devotional poetry of Richard Baxter
Poetical Fragments (1683) represented a creative supplement to as well as an elaboration of the methods of his prose works of practical divinity.
Baxter's assessment of his own poetry was that it was ‘fit for women and vulgar wits, which are the far greater number’; also for those ‘afflicted, sick, [and] dying’.
As in his pastorate at Kidderminster and throughout his printed output of practical divinity, Baxter presented his printed poetry as a ministry to the
flock, as Maureen Dezell has noted of the USA:
The impression from the outside is that a splendid and sanguine American Catholic
Church started hemorrhaging in the 1960s and had yet to stanch its bleeding.
Attendance at Mass has fallen off dramatically among practicing Catholics, including some nuns who are dissatisfied enough with the pastorate that they conduct
their own Eucharistic services. Catholics live together before marriage and receive
the Eucharist –a mortal sin compounded by a sacrilege, according to Baltimore
Catechism standards. Nine of ten reject the
, hard numbers as well. This was a
bold move: inviting readers to be, essentially, insiders to his own
pocketbook and to his financial-vocational-spiritual choice to leave
one pastorate for another. Yet Bernard apparently felt that the
evidence would speak for itself, being enough to counter any
Life writing, writ small?