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This study of early modern Spain uses parish records to examine the content of religious practice and belief at the parish level and the success of the Catholic Church's attempt to alter those beliefs during the Catholic Reformation.
The first three chapters explore the problems encountered by episcopal Visitors to parishes in the diocese of Ourense in northwestern Spain as they attempted to enforce the ideals of the Catholic Reformation program. The last three chapters use both quantitative and qualitative sources to contrast the expectations of the Catholic Church with parishioner participation in socio-religious activities such as naming, marriage choice, and the composition of testaments.
This work is particularly important to scholars of colonial Latin America as it describes the local religion that Spanish colonists brought to the New World.
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Abstract

For decades, scholars have emphasized the importance of female chastity in early modern Spanish society. Early modern thinkers enthusiastically promoted the notion in their works, Mediterranean anthropologists formulated a cultural model around female chastity through their studies, and early modern historians followed suit in their examinations of the Catholic Reformation. However, this analysis of recent works on gender and the extensive demographic literature on early modern Spain reveals that there is little evidence that female chastity was a priority for most Spaniards. Instead, demography, economy, class, and the influence of regional cultures may have had more of an impact on the development of sexual mores than any overarching cultural program.

In: Journal of Early Modern History
In: Regulating the People: The Catholic Reformation in Seventeenth-Century Spain
In: Regulating the People: The Catholic Reformation in Seventeenth-Century Spain
In: Regulating the People: The Catholic Reformation in Seventeenth-Century Spain
In: Regulating the People: The Catholic Reformation in Seventeenth-Century Spain
In: Regulating the People: The Catholic Reformation in Seventeenth-Century Spain
In: Regulating the People: The Catholic Reformation in Seventeenth-Century Spain
In: Regulating the People: The Catholic Reformation in Seventeenth-Century Spain
In: Regulating the People: The Catholic Reformation in Seventeenth-Century Spain