chap 3 22/3/04 12:52 pm Page 74 3 Lower clergy versus bishops The church desperately needed men like Bérulle and Olier to formulate coherent theologies to underpin its reform initiatives. Yet not everyone agreed that the church should function according to a hierarchical arrangement that gave bishops absolute authority over the clergy below them in rank. Fundamental disagreements over the complicated questions of hierarchy and jurisdiction brought many tough challenges for French bishops, for they were pitted against members of the lower clergy and even

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Imitation of Spenserian satire

6 After the Bishops’ Ban: imitation of Spenserian satire Spenser’s death in 1599, the promulgation of the Bishops’ Ban in 1599, and the death of Queen Elizabeth in 1603—each of these could be expected to affect the writing of poetry in England, with Spenser’s influence becoming modified by nostalgia, authors trying to interpret the text of the Bishops’ Ban to determine how to respond to its directive “That noe Satyres or Epigramms be printed hereafter” (qtd. in McCabe, “Elizabethan satire,” 188), and everyone watching to see what degree of oversight of the

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5 Thomas Middleton’s satires before and  after the Bishops’ Ban Among the books burned by order of the Bishops’ Ban on June 4, 1599, was nineteen-year-old Thomas Middleton’s Micro-Cynicon: Sixe Snarling Satyres, a collection of verse satires. T.M. the young satirist would of course soon become Thomas Middleton the seasoned dramatist, and criticism of Middleton’s work has not surprisingly focused primarily on his more mature work for the theater. Nevertheless, early satires such as Micro-Cynicon and Father Hubburds Tales; or, The Ant and the Nightingale (1604

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Visions of episcopacy in seventeenth-century France

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.

chap 4 22/3/04 12:53 pm Page 109 4 Ecclesiastical monarchy or monarchies? Why did the French episcopate prove so tenacious in opposing the regulars’ calls for independence through the seventeenth century? Like the bishops’ quarrels with the curés, these were crises of authority in which the episcopate fought to assert its disciplinary supremacy over the religious orders. Yet the struggle between the bishops and the regulars was just one manifestation of a much larger complexity: the place of the episcopate in the church’s governing hierarchy. Not only did

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Mirrors of French ideals?

chap 6 22/3/04 12:54 pm Page 171 6 Manuals and hagiography: mirrors of French ideals? Didactic literature for bishops was hardly a new phenomenon in the seventeenth century; indeed its pedigree extends all the way back to the early church. Nor was it an exclusively French tradition. During the late sixteenth century numerous efforts were made outside France to produce texts which would be sources of both spiritual nourishment and practical administrative guidance for prelates.1 Within France itself, however, no work of this kind was produced during that

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even had their own official Assembly in which their mainly episcopal deputies could voice the church’s concerns and seek support from the crown. With privileges came responsibilities, however, for just as the church made demands on the temporal realm so it sought to gain from its connections with the church. As the self-proclaimed leaders of the French church, the bishops were at the centre of this far from straightforward exchange. The topic of church–state relations is a vast one, only aspects of which relate directly to the episcopate and episcopal ideology. What

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sessions (1562–63). At the Council, the bishops had been led by the charismatic and widely renowned Cardinal Charles de Lorraine, archbishop of Reims and advisor to the French monarchy, who returned to France well satisfied with the outcome of his negotiations on behalf of the French church and crown.1 This impression of episcopal dynamism and confidence was also fed by the fact that throughout their sojourn at Trent, the French delegates had displayed such signs of enthusiasm for Catholic reform that it seemed very likely they would soon become models of Tridentine

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Introduction 22/3/04 12:11 pm Page 1 Introduction An overview of the Catholic episcopate in early modern Europe comments that ‘one of the most far-reaching if usually under-remarked changes of the Reformation period as a whole concerns the function and necessity of bishops in the church’.1 Although immediately applicable to those regions of the Reformation where bishops disappeared altogether from the ecclesiastical and political landscapes, this observation might appear to have no relation to Catholic Europe.2 Here, bishops not only survived but also

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French clerical reformers and episcopal status

chap 2 22/3/04 12:12 pm Page 50 2 The most perfect state: French clerical reformers and episcopal status As a general council of the church, Trent offered a framework within which a resurgent catholicism could take shape. To a man, its delegates took it for granted that the clergy would lead the laity, and that bishops would supervise and govern all the faithful. While the conciliar decrees were designed to respond, therefore, to the specific abuses and inadequacies of contemporary religion, they drew equally on what were assumed to be eternally applicable

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