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The conquest of the soul

Confession, discipline, and public order in Counter-Reformation Milan

The conquest of the soul by W. de Boer
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Carlo and Federico Borromeo achieved fame by turning Milan into the foremost laboratory of the Italian Counter-Reformation. This monograph interprets their programme of penitential discipline as a quest to reshape Lombard society by reaching into the souls of its inhabitants. This integration of the public and private spheres had vast implications- the transformation of the clergy into a professional body, a bureaucratic-juridical turn into sacramental practice, interventions into the ritual order (notably the introduction of the confessional), and new models of discipline and "civilized" behaviour. Catholic confessionalism thus conceived had decidedly mixed outcomes. While it transformed the religious landscape forever, its deepest ambitions foundered amidst political opposition, popular resistance, and a bureaucratic accommodation.
BRILL; January 2001
395 pages; ISBN 9789047400448
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Title: The conquest of the soul
Author: W. de Boer