Church and Society in Catholic Europe of the Eighteenth by William J. Callahan, David Higgs

By William J. Callahan, David Higgs

Of the good ecu associations of the outdated Regime, the Catholic Church by myself survived into the trendy global. The Church that emerged from the interval of innovative upheaval, which started in 1789, and from the lengthy technique of monetary and social transformation attribute of the 19th century, used to be very varied from the good baroque Church that constructed following the Counter-Reformation. those experiences of the Church in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germane, Austria, Hungary and Poland at the eve of an period of innovative switch check the nonetheless intimate courting among faith and society in the conventional ecu social order of the eighteenth century. The essays emphasize social functionality instead of theological controversy, and look at concerns equivalent to the recruitment and function of the clergy, where of the Church in schooling and terrible relief', the significance of renowned faith, and the evangelization of a mostly illiterate inhabitants via the non secular orders.

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In the administrative area called the kingdom of Seville, 303 parishes served a population of over 750 000, while in Catalonia with a population ofjust over 800 000 there were 2738 parishes. In some southern dioceses, parishes could reach gigantic size, as in Cadiz where a single parish located in the cathedral served a population of 57 000. Numerous convents and chapels in the city provided services, it is true, but the weakness of the parish in the south deprived the church of the influence which local and neighbourhood parishes provided.

In the course of the eighteenth century Boutonnet grew from about 500 to 1500 inhabitants: a bonneterie production was introduced which drew Rouergat and Cevennol immigrants (both with a high reputation for piety) but who, churchless and priestless, were unable to practise and progressively lost the habit. At Clermont and nearby Villeneuvette from the late seventeenth century, the development of Levant cloth production caused the tripling of the population in under sixty years. Over 5000 people, an unruly, ill-paid, drink-sodden, crime-prone work force, forming easy, irregular unions, giving in to frequent violence, were the spiritual concern of one priest and avicaire.

The proportion was slightly higher, up to one and a half per cent, in several of the provinces of Castile, Avila, Cuenca, Leon, Segovia, Guadalajara as well in the south-east, La Mancha, Valencia and Murcia. Other regions, Catalonia, Extremadura, Seville, Salamanca and Toledo approximated the national norm; others, Madrid (city), Aragon, Cordoba, Palencia and Valladolid exceeded it. Local conditions, the presence of a university or long-established religious houses partially account for regional differences.

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