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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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From Seroras to Sacristans

From Seroras to Sacristans

Reforms in the Eighteenth Century

(p.149) Chapter 7 From Seroras to Sacristans
The Basque Seroras

Amanda L. Scott

Cornell University Press

This chapter discusses the fundamental transformation of the role of the seroras in the eighteenth century. Whereas the seroras survived Tridentine reform relatively unscathed, they were not so fortunate under the later Bourbon reforms. Fiscally pragmatic rather than directly confessional, the Bourbon reforms led to a drastic reorganization of local religious life. Some initiatives championed under the Bourbon reforms were well underway through regional reorganization and local initiative well before they were issued by official proclamation. In these cases, the Bourbon reforms merely expedited the inevitable. Aimed to achieve essential cost-saving measures across the empire, the Bourbon reforms as they played out through the Consejo de Castilla consolidated church lands, redrafted parish benefice plans, and decreased numbers of lower-order clergy and church functionaries. All these measures affected the seroras, and although localities and Basque church officials jointly championed their seroras, the Bourbon reforms ultimately signaled an end to the vocation. Eventually, the seroras were replaced by sacristans.

Keywords:   seroras, Bourbon reforms, local religious life, regional reorganization, local initiatives, sacristans

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