Edited By Sarah Alyn Stacey
Jill Fehleison The Place of the Cross
: The Pamphlet Battle between François de Sales and Antoine de La Faye Despite Geneva’s ban on Catholicism in 1535 and the alpine city’s status as a centre of international Protestantism, Catholics remained in the region and the two confessions continued to interact in a variety of situations. Too often, however, historians have examined Geneva in isolation from its numerous Catholic neighbours. Confessional boundaries established in the 1530s around Geneva did not dissolve longstanding familial, social, and economic ties; regular contact between the two communities continued and sometimes led to confrontations in which both sides felt compelled to defend their faith in print. These publications tended to highlight fear, suspicion, and stereotypes of the other, which in turn shaped and reinforced the ways in which Catholic and Reformed populations continued to engage with each other. Notable in this respect is the fact that the political and religious climate shifted in favour of the Catholic Duke of Savoy Charles- Emmanuel I in the 1580s when he made peace with the Protestant city of Berne and encroached upon the outskirts of Geneva with the hopes of regaining the city.1 In addition, the diocese of Geneva saw post-Tridentate bishops assume the episcopate that took steps to revitalize Catholicism in the region through reform, renewal, and conversion. As a result of this situation, a body of propaganda emerged between 1580 and 1665, and the authors of these ‘dialogues of otherness’ ranged from anonymous parti- sans to acknowledged leaders from both confessional camps. Usually the...
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