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Church and Society in Eighteenth-Century France Volume 2: The Religion of the People and the Politics of Religion$
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John McManners

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198270041

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198270046.001.0001

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The Curé's Prône and Parish Missions

The Curé's Prône and Parish Missions

Chapter:
(p.78) 25 The Curé's Prône and Parish Missions
Source:
Church and Society in Eighteenth-Century France Volume 2: The Religion of the People and the Politics of Religion
Author(s):

John McManners

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198270046.003.0004

The parish priest's preaching duties or prône were laid down by the bishops and influenced by local conditions. It was meant to be kept short and to reflect the rural or urban milieu and mentality of the parishioners: successful curés would be entertaining and topical, relating religion to the lives of their hearers. The Paris missions, their technique elaborated in the seventeenth century, were ‘the most dramatic mass demonstration of the age of the Enlightenment’. Sometimes the curé led missions, and some bishops also took a lead, but different religious orders used different methods to effect the individual conversions to be induced by missions. Collective ceremonies would demonstrate the new commitment to lead a religious life, if only temporarily, and while failure was frequently admitted, most missionary preachers could point to evidence of success.

Keywords:   curés, Jesuits, missions, preaching

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