'Fathers, Leaders, Kings': episcopacy and episcopal reform in the seventeenth-century French School
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Forrestal, Alison. (2002). ‘Fathers, Leaders, Kings’: Episcopacy and Episcopal Reform in the Seventeenth-Century French School. The Seventeenth Century, 17(1), 24-47. doi: 10.1080/0268117X.2002.10555498
In their drive to ‘sanctify’ the clergy, seventeenth-century French clerical reformers developed highly sophisticated and influential theologies of both priesthood and episcopacy. This article traces the development of the French school’s theology of episcopacy by exploring the thought of two of its leading representatives, Pierre de Bérulle and Jean-Jacques Olier. These provided the most original contributions on episcopacy, and their ideas were transmitted through the work of other leading clergy, such as Vincent de Paul and Louis Tronson. The article also summarises the efforts of all of these reformers to implement their vision of episcopacy. Through instructive correspondence and publications as well as through interventions in appointments, all sought, with some success, to mould bishops that personified their episcopal ideal.