Doen geloven? Vroegmoderne katholieke catechese tussen pedagogische overmoed en pastoraal pessimisme
Make believe? The early modern Catholic catechism. Somewhere between educational exuberance and pastoral pessimism.
A wealth of historical research has been carried out in the field of religious education; studies of religious writings, particularly catechisms and other manuals, have proved to be very productive. However, the impact of catechism teaching has been studied less intensively. This article focuses on the high hopes the Catholic Reform movement had for systematic religious education. The specific grammar of schooling, which was the result of this ambition, left a strong mark on religious life in the southern Netherlands. The impact on the way ordinary people experienced their belief is hard to measure. However there is strong evidence that, in spite of the educational exuberance of some priests, many others were rather pessimistic about the outcome of their pastoral work.