In this slim volume about the life and work of François de Sales (1567−1622), Thomas A. Donlan tackles a very large theme. Indeed the central point of the book — to explore François de Sales’s contributions to non-violent religious cultures in Counter-Reformation French Catholicism — is so intimately tied to major historiographic debates about violence and emotions that one hopes Donlan will build upon his research findings in a further monograph. The ideas developed in The Reform of Zeal are of considerable relevance to current interdisciplinary work on ‘contentious politics’, to borrow a phrase from Charles Tilly and Sidney Tarrow. Violence, in all its various manifestations and in different historical contexts, is currently occupying a space to the fore of historians’ interests, not least as a result of scholarly reactions to Steven Pinker’s thesis on the subject.
Macknight, E. C. (2020). Thomas A. Donlan, The Reform of Zeal. François de Sales and Militant French Catholicism. St Andrews: Centre for French History and Culture of the University of St Andrews, 2018. Pp. iv + 145. The Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 71(3), 655-656. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0022046920000214