Franciscan Zoom Lecture – March 14
The Role of Franciscan Tradition in Francis de Sales’s Reform of Militant Catholicism
Dr. Donlan’s presentation explores how Francis de Sales (1567-1622) challenged the religious militancy of Parisian dévots, zealous reformers who shaped Catholic spirituality and activism in early-17th century France. Drawing on Franciscan tradition, de Sales defined Christian love as unity, trust, and embrace, dismantling the dévots’s theology of purity, distrust, and combat. This interpretation sees Salesian spirituality as far more distinct from and critical of dominant Counter-Reformation spiritualities than is generally thought.
By: Thomas Donlan, Ph.D.
Dr. Thomas Donlan teaches Church History at Brophy Jesuit High School in Phoenix. He earned a Master’s in Religion from Yale University and a Ph.D. in European History from the Division for Late Medieval and Reformation Studies at the University of Arizona. In 2022, Donlan published an article in The Catholic Historical Review entitled, We Are No Longer in the Time of Elijah: Françios de Sales’s Dismantling of Parisian Dévots’s Theology.” This article serves as the basis for this presentation.