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Sacred Boundaries

Religious Coexistence and Conflict in Early-Modern France

Keith P. Luria

Publication Year: 2012

Religious rivalry and persecution have bedeviled so many societies that confessional difference often seems an unavoidable source of conflict. Sacred Boundaries challenges this assumption by examining relations between the Catholic majority and Protestant minority in seventeenth-century France as a case study of two religious groups constructing confessional difference and coexistence

Published by: The Catholic University of America Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-x

Writing books and creating religious coexistence have, at least, this much in common: they both require collaboration and institutional support. The institutional, that is to say financial, support for this book came from North Carolina State University, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Humanities Center, ...


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pp. xi-xii

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pp. xiii-xxxix

Religious rivalry, persecution, and violence have bedeviled so many societies past and present that confessional difference often seems an unavoidable source of conflict. Religion ostensibly breeds loyalties so deep and feelings of particularism so strong that enmity between faiths comes to seem inevitable and natural. ...

Map of the Major Protestant Communities in Seventeenth-Century Poitou

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pp. xl

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Protestants, Catholics, and the State: Constructing Communal Coexistence

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pp. 1-46

It might seem strange to begin a history of Catholic-Protestant relations in seventeenth-century France by suggesting that the boundary between the two groups was anything but solid. After all, over three decades of vicious religious warfare should have more than sufficed to construct an impermeable confessional barrier. ...

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Catholic Missions and the Construction of the Confessional Boundary

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pp. 47-102

Coexistence in religiously mixed communities depended on the willingness of Catholics and Protestants to traverse the confessional boundary in pursuit of common aims or to negotiate agreements across it. Such cooperation always had opponents among the clergy and militant members of both churches. ...

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Separated by Death?: Cemeteries, Burials, and Confessional Boundaries

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pp. 103-142

In the civic spaces Catholics and Protestants shared, their daily interactions could provoke conflict but also present opportunities for cooperation. The most sensitive of these locations were those constituting communal sacred space—Protestant temples and Catholic churches, chapels, religious houses, and processional routes ...

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Divided Families: The Confessional Boundary in the Household

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pp. 143-192

The community’s sacred spaces were one arena in which Catholics and Protestants constructed and contested the confessional boundary. But there was another even more fundamental to early-modern conceptions of social order, political organization, and spiritual life: the family and its household. ...

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Markers of Difference: Heroines, Amazons, and the Confessional Boundary

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pp. 193-245

Catholics and protestants dissolved the confessional boundary or cooperated across it to establish families and religious coexistence. Those in both churches who wanted to stop such boundary crossing sought to construct the strictest form of division between the faiths to keep each religion distinct, ...

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Matters of Conscience: Conversion, Relapse, and the Confessional Boundary

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pp. 246-307

This study has explored the confessional frontier between Catholics and Protestants in the arrangement of communal space, in the establishment of religiously mixed families, and in the gendered characterizations of religious identity. These sites of boundary construction reveal how the confessional barrier ...

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pp. 308-318

According to the churches’ conversion models, truth resided in the individual conscience. Once a convert accepted the truth, conscience would secure his or her religious affiliation and prevent any recrossing of the confessional boundary. Relapses, however, described conscience as a bridge back across the divide, ...


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pp. 319-344


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pp. 345-358

E-ISBN-13: 9780813216195
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813214115

Page Count: 399
Publication Year: 2012

Edition: 1st ed.