The Long Reformation: Catholic - Conclusions

  • Created by: Alasdair
  • Created on: 24-05-18 16:24
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  • The Long Reformation: Catholic - Conclusions
    • Catholic Church remained numerically dominant in Europe and manged to reclaim many lost faithful
      • not least as result of Habsburg successes in Thirty Years War
    • Council of Trent
      • Reaffirmed power of Papacy
      • Confirmed Catholic tenets of faith
      • Rejected Protestant theology
      • Limitations
        • Placed episcopal reform as fulcrum of its reform policies
          • thus reaffirmed the medieval pyramidic hierarchy that positioned papal authority at its apex
            • Rome no longer received unanimous deference
    • Style and substance of Catholicism
      • Would remain Tridentine until Second Vatican Council of mid-C20th
    • New orders
      • Promoted rigorous devotion for clergy and laity alike
    • Mystic visionaries
      • e.g. Spanish nun, Teresa of Avila (1515-82), author of famous religious autobiography
      • Provided inspiring examples of inner life of the spirit
    • Limitations
      • Rome no longer received unanimous deference
        • In Spain
          • Bishops were often crown officials
          • new directions to episcopate were opposed by Philip II and his lawyers as intrusion into crown autonomy
        • Papal authority less than absolute in France
          • Gallican liberties had long allowed crown to appoint to episcopal office
      • Delumeau and other historians view
        • Catholic Reformation as unprecedented campaign of mass indoctrination, a reform of 'popular religion' as dramatic as that of the Protestant Reformation
      • Forster and other historians view Catholic Reformation
        • much slower and uncertain process, in which crucial reforms like establishment of diocesan seminaries were frequently long delayed, and in which local communities accepted reforms in an often selective way
    • Extent to which Catholic laity ever became fully 'Tridentized' is open to question
      • unorthodox fol beliefs (e.g. about fairies) persisted alongside official Catholicism in parts of rural Spain, Italy, and Ireland into modern times
        • just as elements of non-Christian belief were absorbed into popular Catholicism of New World
    • Debate over nomenclature? Was this a Counter- or Catholic Reformation?
      • A. G. Dickens
        • quite obviously both
      • John O'Malley
        • developments within his argument
        • we should unjudgementally  term 'early modern Catholicism' are not just matter of narrow ecclesiastical history
          • They were transformative of politics and culture of Europe as well as of wider world

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