Miracles, Convulsions, and Ecclesiastical Politics in Early Eighteenth-Century Paris
B. Robert Kreiser
In the midst of the fierce controversies raging in France over the papal bull Unigenitus, worshipers at the tomb of a revered Jansenist deacon in Paris's Saint-Médard cemetery witnessed a variety of miraculous occurrences. These well-publicized events led to the emergence of a cult that came to affect and be affected by the most furious religious debate of the eighteenth-century. Professor Kreiser provides a full and objective account of the conflicts surrounding this unsanctioned cult, which remained a major cause célèbre in ecclesiastical politics for nearly a decade.
The author details the intricate relationships between Church and State and broadens our awareness of the political implications of popular religion during the ancien régime. His wide-ranging book is the first account of the Saint-Médard episode to deal with this affair in its multiple contexts. At stake was more than acceptance of the papal bull, whose political history the author discusses. Also involved, as he shows, were fundamental questions about the nature of miracles, conflicts between episcopal and priestly authority, the unwelcome intrusions of the papacy in the affairs of the Gallican Church, and struggles among the crown, the Parlement of Paris, and the French episcopate for control over ecclesiastical affairs.
First published in 1978.
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