Boundaries of Faith

Catholics and Protestants in the Diocese of Geneva

By (author) Jill R. Fehleison

Hardback - £38.95

Publication date:

01 October 2010

Length of book:

280 pages


Truman State University Press

ISBN-13: 9781935503118

At the political and religious crossroads where John Calvin and the Protestant Reformation had taken hold, the Catholic Diocese of Geneva struggled to convert their Protestant neighbors back to the Catholic Church while maintaining a tradition of piety and a firm disciplinary hand. This critical study examines the success of Catholic counter-reform in key rural villages and looks at the significant role played by Bishop François de Sales, who had the unusual challenge of dealing with the two political authorities of Savoy and France. Drawing from a wealth of primary sources, including visitation records of bishops and other diocesan documents, Jill Fehleison contributes to our understanding of early modern Catholicism as it addressed the challenges of coexisting with Protestantism.

“Fehleison offers a rich and compelling account of the revitalization of religious conviction and devotion in the Catholic areas bordering the Reformed city-state of Geneva. Her analysis of the people, structures, and rituals associated with Catholic reform in the Diocese of Geneva is exceptional and accomplished. She carefully elucidates the gradual emergence of confessional identity and the “boundaries of faith” among both clergy and laity. In the process, the dynamics of early modern Catholicism emerge in vibrant and robust tones.”

—Raymond A. Mentzer