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THE SCIENCE OF SALVATION: FRENCH DIOCESAN CATECHISMS AND CATHOLIC REFORM (1650-1800)

Karen E. Carter
The Catholic Historical Review
Vol. 96, No. 2 (April, 2010), pp. 234-261
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27806534
Page Count: 28
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
THE SCIENCE OF SALVATION: FRENCH DIOCESAN CATECHISMS AND CATHOLIC REFORM (1650-1800)
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Abstract

In seventeenth- and eighteenth-century France, catechism played a vital role in the Catholic Reformation. During this period bishops issued new catechisms for their dioceses to ensure that the truths of the Catholic religion would be taught with exactness. This essay examines these catechisms and analyzes the bishops' measures to establish the catechism as a set of step-by-step instructions designed to teach children correct Catholic behavior and basic Catholic principles. Bishops believed the material in their catechisms, which they termed the "science of salvation," would ensure orthodoxy and orthopraxy in each new generation of Catholic believers.

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