Introduction
in Fathers, pastors and kings

This introductory chapter discusses the theme of this book, which is about the history of episcopacy in France during the seventeenth century. The book examines the ideas, both established and still emerging, of what the office of bishop meant to its incumbents and traces the ways in which that understanding coloured their involvement in the hierarchical Tridentine church and in a temporal realm governed by a vigorously gallican monarchy. It also explores the canonical and theological aspects that relate to the episcopate as a sacred ecclesiastical position with particular associated powers, the character of the episcopal pastorate and the notion of episcopal spirituality.

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Fathers, pastors and kings

Visions of episcopacy in seventeenth-century France

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