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Novices et noviciats en Lorraine du XVIe au XVIIIe siècle

Abstract : During the modern era, the three Lorraine dioceses Metz, Toul and Verdun saw a very strong establishment of religious orders. This monastic force of Lorraine, inherited from the Middle Ages and the protection of the ducal family, concerns all the major European religious families and has enabled the emergence of reforms (such as that of the Benedictines of Saint-Vanne for example) or the creation of congregations that lasted well beyond the Revolution. We thought it was interesting to study this Monastic permanence of Lorraine from the perspective of novice and novitiate in order to try to understand if there is a specificity specific to these territories. Thanks to an impressive archival wealth, a database of more than 13,000 novices, both men and women, has been established for all religious orders where vows of religion are pronounced and established in the Lorraine dioceses. These data have opened the way to reflect on the birth of vocation, on the procedures for admission within the regulars, the recruitment rates and, more generally, the training of novices. So, our study develops on five themes following both the chronology of the novitiate and its major themes. The first is about the appearance of vocation and the contexts that allow it to flourish or not. Family impacts are very opposite. It is both an incentive factor that can go as far as forced vocation in specific contexts, and a factor of opposition, prompting candidates to seek parades to follow their life plan. In addition to the family, other actors are involved such as religious, books or significant events. The second theme develops the question of postulation with the choice of the religious order, the selection of candidates and the first teachings, a postulation that culminates in the ceremony of taking clothes with its symbolism. The third theme focuses on the influence of money with two issues. The first relates to the cost of the novitiate (pension, purchases of clothes, accessories necessary for engagement...) and the second on the socio-economic profile of the Lorraine candidates with the differences encountered from one order to order, from one sex to another. The fourth reflection questions the geography of the novitiate and the profiles of recruitment according to religious orders and centuries. Finally, the last is entirely devoted to the training of novices with their place within the monastic institution, learning according to gender and orders, the masters and mistresses of novices and the problems faced by novices until the ceremony of the profession that transforms the novice into a religious.This research has established, among other conclusions, that the novice is a character continually confronted with choices (enter or not in religion, choice of order, leave or stay ...) marked by contradictory influences of the family, of the order ... He is a complex and rich character because he allows us to understand the mechanisms that govern the voluntary or voluntary choice of a life devoted to God. This thesis helped to identify a recruitment profile marked by a chaotic 16th century followed by a spectacular upturn that was abruptly interrupted by the Thirty Years' Warbetween 1630 and 1650, before a slow ascent to the first third of the 18th century. century, followed by stabilization before a relative decline after 1770. We have also identified a trend towards Lorraine-centred recruitment, revealing a strong attachment to a nation, for most orders.Novices in Lorraine are therefore above all Lorraines faced, from their youth, with a dense monastic presence, with religious very involved in education and in family networks promoting the renewal of recruits.
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Jean-Marc Lejuste. Novices et noviciats en Lorraine du XVIe au XVIIIe siècle. Histoire. Université de Lyon, 2019. Français. ⟨NNT : 2019LYSE2066⟩. ⟨tel-02477165v1⟩

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