History professor Dr. Christopher Lane has released his first book, exploring the making of Catholic vocational culture in Early Modern France. Titled Callings and Consequences, Lane analyzes the origins, growth, and influence of a culture of vocation that became central to the Catholic Reformation as it unfolded in seventeenth-century France.
Lane, who earned his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame, specializes in the history of early modern Europe. In Callings and Consequences, Lane examines the Catholic reformers’ new vision of the choice of a state of life in seventeenth-century France, explaining that this vision was marked by four characteristics: urgency (the realization that one’s soul was at stake), inclusiveness (the belief that everyone, including lay people, was called by God), method (the use of proven discernment practices), and liberty (the belief that this choice must be free from coercion, especially by parents).
No mere passing phenomena, these vocational reforms engendered enduring beliefs and practices within the repertoire of global Catholic modernity, even to the present day. Lane’s telling of this important historical development in France proves to be an illuminating history of pastoral reform, helping readers to understand the history of Catholic vocational culture and its role in the modernizing process, within Christianity and beyond.
“It is hard to explain why the striking change in French discourse around vocation in the early modern era has gone almost unstudied, but from the point of view of the faithful, this was one of the biggest innovations of early modern Catholicism,” writes Jotham Parsons, professor at Duquesne University and author of The Church in the Republic: Gallicanism and Political Ideology in Renaissance France. “Callings and Consequences provides a crucial introduction to the topic, filling a major gap in our understanding of the early modern Catholic world. All serious scholars of early modern Catholicism should read this book.”
Lane is an associate professor of history at Christendom, where he teaches HIST 101 through 202, along with Early Modern Catholicism, The History of Catholicism in Asia, Vocations in Early Modern France, and more.