Mysticism and Reform in Catholic Theology between 1600 and 1800
Contribution to Book
Oxford University Press
The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern Theology, 1600-1800
These introductory remarks focus on themes not covered in the handbook—the Council of Trent’s focus on a universal call to holiness, the effect of parish missions on popular faith, and practical reforms such as the founding of seminaries and improving the moral life of the clergy. Moreover, Trent’s support for positive theology is outlined, as well as Catholic attempts to defend traditional Trinitarian theology against the anti-Trinitarianism that arose during the Protestant Reformation. Finally, this introduction considers the rise of Catholic mysticism, particularly in Spain and France; and discusses its contra-authoritarian character, the significant influence of female mystics, and the Quietist controversy.