Henri Dominique Lacordaire’s Re-Establishment of the Dominican Order in Nineteenth-Century France

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This book examines the uniqueness of Lacordaire and his approach to founding or refounding a religious congregation in the 19th century France. Rather than looking to the past or reacting against the society produced by the French Revolution, Lacordaire accepts the basic principles of the Revolution and wants to show the compatibility between these principles and the Catholic faith. The author shows how Lacordaire in his understanding of Dominicanism, did not seek so much to look to the past as to make the Order relevant to the time.


“This book offers a fresh look at Lacordaire’s actions. He was involved in the religious and political life in France and was a well-known and popular preacher at Notre Dame by the mid-1830s and then again as a Dominican preacher in the Lenten sermons in mid-1840s….. In this book, Peter Batts has synthesized the important works on the characteristics of romanticism, on religious history, and on the main actors in the religious drama of nineteenth century France. He compares and contrasts Lacordaire with other religious refounders in order to show the uniqueness of Lacordaire and to situate his work in the context of the times…..This book is particularly valuable for historians of religious France, for cultural historians, romantic literary critics, for theologians who study history, and for Dominican men and women in the English speaking world…..Batts’ treatment of Lacordaire differs from other works because he solidly places the refounder in the context of romanticism and liberty and focuses on developing Lacordaire’s romantic personality and vision.” (From the Preface) Professor M. Patricia Dougherty, O.P., Dominican University of California

Table of Contents

1. Catholicism in France in the Aftermath of the Revolution and the Restoration
2. The Restoration of Religious Life in France as a Key Moment in the Restoration of French Catholicism in general
3. Lacordaire, Child of his Age, Man of his Time
4. Lacordaire’s Restoration of the Dominican Order in France
5. Brothers Differ: the Controversy between Lacordaire and Jandel concerning Dominican life in nineteenth century France
6. Evaluation of Lacordaire’s Understanding of “Restoration” of Religious Life

Other France/French: All Subjects Books