League polemics and monarchical crisis: A religious and cultural analysis of the Catholic League during the reign of Henry III (1576--1589)

Dalia M Leonardo, Fordham University

Abstract

The Catholic League has traditionally been analyzed in terms of its political ideology and social makeup. These studies, however, fail to examine its religious components or to place the League within the broader culture of late sixteenth-century France. Although recent studies have begun to examine League religiosity, its religious agenda remains largely unexplored. My study examines the League's religious and political agenda through an analysis of its pamphlet literature and iconographic representations produced during the reign of Henry III (1576-89). Central to the League's ideology was its concern with the prosperity of the Catholic community and heresy's effects on religious and social body. Leaguers were also concerned with both personal and religious reform, evidenced by their support of the complete implementation of the Council of Trent.^ The League's political agenda was driven by the desire to maintain the state's religious, moral, and juridical integrity. During a period when absolutist theories of government were growing in popularity, League supporters advocated constitutionalism and advanced the notion that all persons, including the monarch, were subject to the law. Even the League's assaults on Henry III were largely motivated by his perceived moral failing and inability to restore religious hegemony. ^

Subject Area

History, Church|History, European

Recommended Citation

Dalia M Leonardo, "League polemics and monarchical crisis: A religious and cultural analysis of the Catholic League during the reign of Henry III (1576--1589)" (January 1, 1998). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI9825864.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI9825864

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