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The Basque SerorasLocal Religion, Gender, and Power in Northern Iberia, 1550-1800$
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Amanda L. Scott

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501747496

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501747496.001.0001

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Local Religion and Tridentine Reform in the Early Modern Basque Country

Local Religion and Tridentine Reform in the Early Modern Basque Country

(p.55) Chapter 3 Local Religion and Tridentine Reform in the Early Modern Basque Country
The Basque Seroras

Amanda L. Scott

Cornell University Press

This chapter provides a brief synopsis of the presence of Navarrese delegates at the Council of Trent, then moves on to an overview of the Diocese of Pamplona's most important Tridentine era synod meeting and a representative sampling of reform episodes as they played out on the ground. To understand the inconsistencies in enforcement concerning the seroras, reforms concerning the seroras must be left in their original context. Mirroring the diocese's attention to clerical misbehavior, the chapter thus approaches reform of the seroras through the lens of male reform, and especially pastoral residency. The diocese's concentration on professionalizing the lower clergy and directing lay devotion into appropriate channels reveals much about the diocese's unstated policy against interfering with the seroras: that is, the diocese identified reforming the lower clergy as the key to a successful reform program, and everything else was secondary. Other aspects of local religious life that did not mesh with official Tridentine reform ideals were allowed to slide to make way for more urgent reforms. In this context, the diocese judged that licensing the seroras was the easiest way to control the vocation, allowing ecclesiastical authorities to turn their eye to more pressing matters such as wandering abbots, violent hermits, and “repulsive” parish priests.

Keywords:   Navarrese delegates, Council of Trent, Diocese of Pamplona, synods, seroras, pastoral reform, local religious life, Tridentine reform, licensing, ecclesiastical authorities

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