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Vincent de Paul, the Lazarist Mission, and French Catholic Reform (Hardback)
  • Vincent de Paul, the Lazarist Mission, and French Catholic Reform (Hardback)
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Vincent de Paul, the Lazarist Mission, and French Catholic Reform (Hardback)

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£70.00
Hardback 336 Pages / Published: 11/05/2017
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Vincent de Paul, the Lazarist Mission, and French Catholic Reform offers a major re-assessment of the thought and activities of the most famous figure of the seventeenth-century French Catholic Reformation, Vincent de Paul. Confronting traditional explanations for de Paul's prominence in the devot reform movement that emerged in the wake of the Wars of Religion, the volume explores how he turned a personal vocational desire to evangelize the rural poor of France into a congregation of secular missionaries, known as the Congregation of the Mission or the Lazarists, with three inter-related strands of pastoral responsibility: the delivery of missions, the formation and training of clergy, and the promotion of confraternal welfare. Alison Forrestal further demonstrates that the structure, ethos, and works that de Paul devised for the Congregation placed it at the heart of a significant enterprise of reform that involved a broad set of associates in efforts to transform the character of devotional belief and practice within the church. The central questions of the volume therefore concern de Paul's efforts to create, characterize, and articulate a distinctive and influential vision for missionary life and work, both for himself and for the Lazarist Congregation, and Forrestal argues that his prominence and achievements depended on his remarkable ability to exploit the potential for association and collaboration within the devot environment of seventeenth-century France in enterprising and systematic ways. This is the first study to assess de Paul's activities against the wider backdrop of religious reform and Bourbon rule, and to reconstruct the combination of ideas, practices, resources, and relationships that determined his ability to pursue his ambitions. A work of forensic detail and complex narrative, Vincent de Paul, the Lazarist Mission, and French Catholic Reform is the product of years of research in ecclesiastical and state archives. It offers a wholly fresh perspective on the challenges and opportunities entailed in the promotion of religious reform and renewal in seventeenth-century France.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198785767
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 632 g
Dimensions: 235 x 174 x 27 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Alison Forrestal's excellent new study contextualizes Vincent de Paul's trajectory from unknown, benefice-hunting priest to member of the highest-ranking royal council responsible for the appointment of French bishops towards the end of his life. Exploring a wealth of regional archives next to those of the Congregation de la Mission, she is the first to deliver a critical historical study of Vincent de Paul and the Lazarists outside hagiographic parameters and which is fully embedded in the current historiographical horizon of the debate on Catholic Reform and French social and political history. * Nicole Reinhardt, French History *
Forrestal's work is important in locating the iconic Vincent de Paul within the complex world of Catholic Renewal. She not only shows how de Paul's activities were embedded in Old Regime practices but also highlights how the Lazarist mission contributed to the rise of the absolutist state. * Mita Choudhury, H-France *
[A] major contribution to the study of Catholicism in early modern France. * Robert Bireley, Renaissance Quarterly *
Forrestal has provided an excellent study of de Paul. Based on detailed research and a deep knowledge of seventeenth-century France, she reassigns agency to an individual who was a good strategist, while not downplaying the context in which he operated. She has provided a work which all historians of the Counter-Reformation should read. * Elizabeth Tingle, Journal of Ecclesiastical History *
Alison Forrestal accomplishes a remarkable feat in this monograph by transforming our understanding of one of the most important and well-studied figures in the French and European Catholic Reformations... Forrestal's focus on the life of de Paul allows her to explore how he was both a product of his times and relationships as well as a driving force in the French Catholic Reformation. It is this insight that makes this groundbreaking book so interesting. * Eric W. Nelson, Journal of Jesuit Studies *
Forrestal's biography has transformed our understanding of Vincent de Paul, one of the Church's greatest saints. * Daire Keogh, The Irish Catholic *
...an outstandingly rich account. * Henry Phillips, The Seventeenth Century *

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