Friars on the Frontier: Catholic Renewal and the Dominican Order in Southeastern Poland, 1594–1648, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Friars on the Frontier

Catholic Renewal and the Dominican Order in Southeastern Poland, 1594–1648, 1st Edition

By Piotr Stolarski


282 pages

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Hardback: 9781409405955
pub: 2010-11-28
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Focusing on the Dominican Order's activities in southeastern Poland from the canonisation of the Polish Dominican St Hyacinth (1594) to the outbreak of Bogdan Chmielnicki's Cossack revolt (1648-54) this book reveals the renovation and popularity of the pre-existing Mendicant culture of piety in the period following the Council of Trent (1545-64). In so doing, it questions both western and Polish scholarship regarding the role of the Society of Jesus, and the changes within Catholicism associated with it across Europe in the early modern period. By grounding the rivalry between Dominicans and Jesuits in patronage, politics, preaching, and the practices of piety, the study provides a holistic explanation of the reasons for Dominican expansion, the ways in which Catholicisation proceeded in a consensual political system, and suggests a corrective to the long-standing Jesuit-centred model of religious renewal. Whilst engaging with existing research regarding the post-Reformation formation of religious denominations, the book significantly expands the debate by stressing the friars' continuity with the medieval past, and demonstrating their importance in the articulation of Catholic-noble identity. Consequently, the monograph opens up new vistas on the history of the Counter-Reformation, Polish-Lithuanian noble identity, and the nature of religious renewal in a multi-ethnic and multi-denominational state.


'Friars on the Frontier is a meticulously written, well-documented, and thoroughly researched book… By opening up new perspectives on the history of the Catholic Reformation, Polish-Lithuanian noble identity, and the nature of religious renewal in Poland, Stolarski clearly demonstrates to what extent politics, power, and religion were intertwined during this important historical period.' Sixteenth Century Journal '… this book is to be valued for bringing to the surface the role of the Dominicans, which has been sorely neglected, and for seeking continuities with the pre-Trent role of the mendicants in Poland-Lithuania.' Catholic Historical Review 'More than simply an analysis of Polish Dominicans, Friars on the Frontier is the best available study in English on Catholic Reform in the Commonwealth.' European History Quarterly

About the Author

Dr Piotr Stolarski is a Catholic historian and poet. He studied at the universities of London and Aberdeen.

About the Series

Catholic Christendom, 1300-1700

Catholic Christendom, 1300-1700
Catholic Christendom, 1300-1700 addresses all varieties of religious behaviour extending beyond traditional institutional and doctrinal church history. It is interdisciplinary, comparative and global, as well as non-confessional. It understands religion, primarily of the 'Catholic' variety, as a broadly human phenomenon, rather than as a privileged mode of access to superhuman realms. Catholic Christendom, 1300-1700 will appeal to academics and students interested in the history of late medieval and early modern western Christianity in global context. The series embraces any and all expressions of traditional religion, books in it will take many approaches, among them literary history, art history, and the history of science, and above all, interdisciplinary combinations of them.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Modern / 17th Century