The Reform of Zeal explores the origins, nature, and impact of François de Sales’s vision of Catholic douceur (gentleness) in the era of the French Wars of Religion. Since Natalie Zemon Davis’s pioneering work on the ‘rites of violence’, scholarship has focused on the militant Catholic cultures of early modern France. Taking a fresh approach to de Sales’s work as a missionary, spiritual director, and founder of the Order of Visitation, this volume documents the evolution of de Sales’s spirituality and his championing of religious cultures of nonviolence within French Catholicism. The Reform of Zeal argues that Salesian douceur not only constituted one of the most effective critiques of French Catholic militancy in the period, but also a unique source of religious renewal in the seventeenth century, independent of Leaguer and early dévot fervour.
Donlan, Thomas A. (2018). The reform of zeal: François de Sales and militant French Catholicism. St Andrews Studies in French History and Culture, no. 9. Centre for French History and Culture of the University of St Andrews.
St Andrews Studies in French History and Culture, no. 9