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Journal > Volumes > 35 (2004) / 3 (Autumn)
Persevering in the Faith: Catholic Worship and Communal Identity in the Wake of the Edict of Nantes
Katharine J. Lualdi
University of Southern Maine

The terms of religious coexistence established by the Edict of Nantes in 1598 posed many challenges as French Catholics and Protestants struggled to bridge the gap between the edict’s provisions and their everyday lives. This article focuses on two pastoral visitations conducted in the dioceses of Vaison and Aix-en-Provence in the wake of the edict’s promulgation. Not only were they among the first dioceses to introduce Catholic reform in France; they were also home to biconfessional communities. The visitation records help to illuminate the complexities of navigating religious rivalries and the demands of Catholic renewal at the local level. Although the visitors addressed a range of topics, they were especially concerned with strengthening the material and liturgical dimensions of Sunday parish worship. The discussion will follow this common thread in order to elucidate the particular importance of the parish mass as a means of shaping Catholic group identity and social relations in late-sixteenth- and seventeenth-century France.

Pages: 717 - 734