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Boundaries of Faith: Catholics and Protestants in the Diocese of Geneva

by Jill R Fehleison Truman State University
Pub Date:
Hbk 280 pages
AU$92.00 NZ$95.65
Product Status: Available in Approx 14 days
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At the political and religious crossroads where John Calvin and the Protestant Reformation had taken hold, the Catholic Diocese of Geneva struggled to convert their Protestant neighbors back to the Catholic Church while maintaining a tradition of piety and a firm disciplinary hand. This critical study examines the success of Catholic counter-reform in key rural villages and looks at the significant role played by Bishop François de Sales, who had the unusual challenge of dealing with the two political authorities of Savoy and France. Drawing from a wealth of primary sources, including visitation records of bishops and other diocesan documents, Jill Fehleison contributes to our understanding of early modern Catholicism as it addressed the challenges of coexisting with Protestantism.


Chapter 1 The Reformation and the Diocese of Geneva

Chapter 2 Understanding Boundaries

Landscape of Catholic Reform

Chapter 3 Winning Converts

The Mission in the Duchy of Chablais

Chapter 4 Shifting Borders

Savoyards Become French

Chapter 5 Cleaning Houses

Reform of the Clergy

Chapter 6 Defining Spaces

Reform of the Laity

Chapter 7 Reform Ideals and Reality


About the Author


“This excellent book examines how three bishops in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries—Francis de Sales, his predecessor, and his successor in the diocese of Geneva—were successful and/or unsuccessful in promoting and restoring Catholicism... The work also nicely complements other recent studies on how bishops received and implemented prescriptions of the Council of Trent for making bishops and parish priests effective agents of Catholic reform.”

Religious Studies Review

Jill Fehleison received her PhD from Ohio State University in early modern European history. She is associate professor of history at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut.