The Essential Readings
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Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Ltd
This book comprises nine key articles on the Counter-Reformation, introduced and contextualized for the student reader. They show that these reforms were more than a mere reaction against the Protestant challenge to Catholic doctrine and institutions, rather, they also constituted an internal renewal that transformed sixteenth and seventeenth-century Catholic religious life in many complex ways. The collection surveys the conceptual and geographical range of work on the subject since 1945, and includes innovative articles on spirituality, the religious life of ordinary Catholics, the work of missionaries in the New World, and the changing role of women in Catholic culture. The essays are divided into two groups - 'Definitions' and 'Outcomes' - to illustrate the distinction between reform as a historical idea and as set of processes. The book provides an ideal starting point for an exploration into key topics of debate surrounding this central event of European history.