Catholic Revival in the Age of the Baroque: Religious by Marc R. Forster

By Marc R. Forster

This ebook seeks to give an explanation for the origins of the Catholic id of the inhabitants of southwest Germany among 1550 and 1750. Many reports of this topic credits rulers and church leaders with developing and imposing spiritual identification in Germany ''from above.'' by contrast, this learn argues that there have been very important neighborhood and spiritual explanation why humans got here to contemplate themselves unswerving Catholics; and so one can comprehend the origins of Catholic identification, it examines the character of ''Baroque Catholicism''--including the importance of pilgrimages, processions, confraternities, and different non secular ceremonies.

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Because it was led, at least in the last decades of the sixteenth century, by Austrian officials, this effort succeeded in areas where Austrian authority was relatively undisputed. These areas were few. ⁴⁷ Patronage rights reflected the fact that this part of Germany was the heartland of the Eigenkirche, the privately owned and founded churches of the Middle Ages, together with the political fragmentation of the region. ⁴⁸ When Austrian officials could control appointments, they put celibacy at the top of their list of attributes for a good priest.

Tridentine reforms came to the Southwest in the later sixteenth century as Catholic officials pursued reforms of the clergy and made tentative efforts to reform popular religious practice. ² The period from 1550 to the end of the Thirty Years’ War was the era most marked by Tridentine reform and the related processes of Counter-Reformation and confessionalization, although the decrees of the Council of Trent remained a blueprint for church reform into the eighteenth century. Yet even during these decades of reform, an analysis of the successes and failures of reform measures does not do justice to the complex interplay of social groups that created Catholic religiosity and culture.

38 Catholic revival in the age of the Baroque tended to emphasize jurisdictional issues, there were also clashes between forces at the highest levels of the ecclesiastical hierarchy. Given all these impediments to church reform, it is surprising that the Bishops of Constance were able to enact any reform program. ’’⁶⁵ Most importantly, these bishops improved the administration of their diocese, dividing the episcopal council (Rat) into three smaller councils, the Weltliche Rat, which dealt with political matters, the Kammerrat, which managed the property and finances of the bishop, and the Geistliche Rat, the Clerical Council.

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