Chapter

Particularity and Discernment

Richard Parish

in Catholic Particularity in Seventeenth-Century French Writing

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780199596669
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729126 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199596669.003.0006
Particularity and Discernment

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The preceding chapter introduced but did not fully address a central issue in the Christian experience, namely that of the assessment of what is claimed to be direct inspiration from God. This chapter therefore begins with an account of one of the most influential figures in the period, St François de Sales, whose devotional manuals, conceived in the spirit of Christian humanism, marked the century, albeit in ways that did not always correspond to his own spiritual ethos of accommodation to the circumstances of the believer. A range of writing is examined in this perspective. The second part of the chapter deals with experience that appears to fall outside the common realm, in particular that of visions (in particular of the Sacred Heart), possessions (especially those recorded at Loudun) and miracles (such as that of the Holy Thorn).

Keywords: discernment; St François de Sales; Christian humanism; devotional manuals; visions; possessions; miracles; Sacred Heart; Loudun; Holy Thorn

Chapter.  15400 words. 

Subjects: History of Christianity

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