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The Religion of the Poor

The Religion of the Poor
Rural Missions in Europe and the Formation of Modern Catholicism, c.1500–c.1800


  • Date Published: August 1997
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521562010

£ 59.99

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About the Authors
  • The Religion of the Poor is an ambitious survey of Catholic missions into the European countryside from 1500 to 1800. The acclaimed French historian Louis Châtellier analyses the impulses to missionary activity at the end of the Middle Ages, and the specific conception of Ignatius Loyola. He then outlines in detail the development of missionary activity after the Council of Trent. In the second part Professor Châtellier discusses the type of religion proffered by the missionaries, examining a variety of key themes in Catholic belief, including the role of deity, of the cross, and of Satan. The book contains a concluding summary of the impact of these rural missions up to the French Revolution, and documents the way in which they changed in reaction to external social and political circumstance.

    • Major overview of central aspect of European religious history
    • Important contribution to history of Catholicism
    • Latest work by leading French scholar, Louis Chatellier , author of highly successful Europe of the Devout
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Châtellier's potent book fills a glaring gap in our understanding of Christian mission … this book will perform long service as a mine for students and researchers alike.' Journal of Ecclesiastical History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 1997
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521562010
    • length: 262 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.555kg
    • contains: 3 b/w illus. 16 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of Abbreviations
    List of Maps
    Part I. The Extent of the Missions in Europe:
    1. From the Middle Ages to modern times
    2. The spirit of the Council
    3. From the missionary impulse to the impossible mission
    4. Apotheosis
    Part II. The World Disillusioned:
    5. God
    6. The cross
    7. Bread
    8. From pardon to salvation
    9. Satan
    Part III. Towards a New Religion:
    10. Changing the village
    11. The missions challenged
    12. From the religion of the poor to the religion of modern times

  • Author

    Louis Châtellier, Université de Nancy II, France


    Brian Pearce

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