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Voices of ConscienceRoyal Confessors and Political Counsel in Seventeenth-Century Spain and France$
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Nicole Reinhardt

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198703686

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198703686.001.0001

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Confessors: Courtiers and Prophets?

Confessors: Courtiers and Prophets?

Chapter:
(p.245) 11 Confessors: Courtiers and Prophets?
Source:
Voices of Conscience
Author(s):

Nicole Reinhardt

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198703686.003.0012

Despite Bellarmine’s authoritative template for royal confessors, the practical experience raised deeper anxieties over how to survive as voices of conscience in the adverse environment of contemporary court society. These are explored in a trilogy of chapters. The first topos explored here is that of the prophet as role model for royal confessors. It emerged in both Spain and France to contrast the confessors’ good counsel with the flattery of courtiers. This chapter focuses on Caussin’s interpretation of prophecy as exposed in the re-edition in 1646–7 of his Cour Sainte following his fall and exile at the hands of Cardinal Richelieu. In an original and apologetic adaptation of Biblical prophecy Caussin proposed both an understanding of his own experience as well as edifying exempla to prepare future confessors for suffering and exile. The prophetical model insisted on the confessors’ duty to Divine truth, downgrading the importance of scholastic expertise.

Keywords:   prophecy, exile, Francisco de Quevedo, Cardinal Richelieu, Nicolas Caussin, Cour Sainte

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