This, the first volume, begins with a Section on Church and State, the theology and political theory justifying their alliance, the wealth of the Clergy and their Assemblies voting taxation, their role in the official life of the nation, from the Court at Versailles to army barracks, warships, and prisons. Then comes a presentation of the complex structure of dioceses and parishes, and the vast variety of monastic institutions (where the enjoyment of misapplied wealth contrasted with the austere dedication which ensured the education of the children and the care of the sick throughout the land). There is an evocation of the life-style of the clergy from the palaces of the aristocratic bishops and the cathedral closes of comfortable canons to the humblest tumbledown nunnery, with a gallery of portraits analysing clerical motives and vocations.
A multitude of lay folk come onto the scene, aristocrats battening on monastic revenues, lawyers threading the labyrinth of benefice law, estate managers, musicians, vergers and officials of every kind; many families' whole way of existence was postulated on the assumption of the availability of ecclesiastical offices for their children-the differential privileges of the classes in the hierarchy of society being reflected in an institution devoted to spiritual and unworldly ends.
Buy Church and Society in Eighteenth-Century France: Volume 1: The Clerical Establishment and its Social Ramifications book by John McManners from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(230mm x 153mm x 44mm)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication:
Author Biography - John McManners
This is his magnum opus, the culmination of 40 years work.