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The French Oratorians and Absolutism, 1611 - 1641


Charles E. Williams

This study is concerned with the evolving spirituality of the Congregation of the Oratory of Jesus under Pierre de Bérulle and Charles de Condren in relation to the social and political environment of seventeenth-century France. The mentalité of the Congregation is shown to be principally that of sections of the clergy, robe nobility, officiers, bourgeois, and professionals, in opposition to the Jesuits and the emerging absolutist state.
Contents: Topics include the spiritual development of Bérulle and Condren, Carmelite opposition to the vows of servitude, the Oratorians in French society, and conflicts between the Oratorians and Cardinal de Richelieu.
This study focuses on the controversies over spirituality that are important in understanding oppositions to absolutism and the rise of the Jansenist movement in France.