In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

BOOK REVIEWS351 pany in 1641 andAlderman of London a decade later,now known to his EngUsh colleagues as John Great. Paul S. Seaver Stanford University Church and Culture in Seventeenth-Century France. By Henry PhiUips. (New York: Cambridge University Press. 1997. Pp. ix, 334. $59.95.) The Catholic Reform movement began to have a significant impact in France during the seventeenth century, after the conclusion of the devastating religious wars. The Church undertook to assert its authority over society through its educational system, its missionary efforts in rural areas, and its promotion of activities designed to instiU in the various segments of society a more intense religious consciousness. However, as Professor PhiUips informs us, the reforming efforts of the French Church were hampered not only by secular trends within French culture, especiaUy in science and phUosophy, that became increasingly influential at this time, but by forces within the Church itsetf as well. In order to inspire in the hearts and minds of the faithful a greater respect for the authority of the Church, ecclesiastical officials at aU levels undertook to develop a clearer understanding of Catholic tradition and doctrinal orthodoxy. This task proved to be impossible to accomplish given the profound differences of opinion that existed between GalUcans and ultramontanes,Jesuits and Jansenists, and the regular and secular clergy on these matters. Such differences of opinion inevitably weakened the authority of the Church at a time when the authority of the French state was increasing, often at the expense of the Church. The authority of the Church was brought into question in the area of science and phUosophy, not because Descartes and others intended to chaUenge that authority but because they challenged the authority ofAristoüe, whose phUosophy , configured to reUgious belief by medieval scholars, was viewed by the Catholic hierarchy as a whole as essential to the maintenance of that authority. Furthermore, consideration of "the new phUosophy" took place in areas beyond the control of the Church—in the salons, at public lectures, and in the newly established royal academy of science. The most direct chaUenges to the authority of the Church, in PhiUip's opinion , were from the Jansenists, Protestants, libertines, atheists, and deists, aU of whom the Church attempted to suppress without success. TheJansenists in defense of their own version of CathoUc orthodoxy defied both the hierarchy and the state. The Huguenots, especiaUy those in exUe after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, helped to develop a poUtical culture in the Netherlands and in England that was antithetical to the culture of the Old Regime to which the CathoUc Church had contributed so much. As for the Ubertines, atheists, and 352BOOK REVIEWS deists, their role in undermining the authority of the Church lay not so much in the direct chaUenge that they posed to that authority but in suggesting the possibility ofsocial values that did not require the validation of Catholic orthodoxy. In framing his argument, Phillips uses the concept of space because spaces, he says, foUowing Foucault, are related to power and control. Thus there are frequent references to the space ofbelief, of dissent, of hostUity, etc. Framed in this way, the argument sometimes seems too abstract, and the issues of power and control are not clearly worked out. Nevertheless, the book provides a useful overview of French culture at a critical moment in its history. Alexander Sedgwick The University of Virginia Mazarin.The Crisis ofAbsolutism in France. By Geoffrey Treasure. (NewYork: Routiedge. 1995. Pp. xv,413· $39.95 clothbound; $22.95 paperback.) The period from the death of Louis XIII in 1643 to the beginning of the personal reign of Louis XIV in 1661 was one of the most tumultuous and complex in French history. It was as well the "age of Mazarin," the cardinal-minister who merged Italianate style with French statecraft, who increased French glory and reputation at the expense of revolts, social tension, and economic dislocation, and who has provoked passionate reactions from contemporaries and historians alike. The difficulties in understanding Mazarin's life and times mean that only accomplished historians—recently Georges Dethan and Pierre Goubert and now Geoffrey Treasure—could hope to offer satisfactory biographies of Giulio Mazarini. Treasure...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1534-0708
Print ISSN
0008-8080
Pages
pp. 351-352
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.