Published online by Cambridge University Press: 23 April 2021
Katherine Ibbett analyses the place of the self in compassion as explored by three key writers of the European Catholic Reformation, and suggests that attention to the contours of the compassionate self provides an important perspective on the relation between the Christian and the world. The chapter focuses on three texts: the French devout humanist François de Sales’s Introduction à la vie dévote / Introduction to the devout life (1609), the Italian Jesuit Roberto Bellarmino’s De gemitu columbiae, sive de bono lacrymarum /The Mourning of the Dove, or the value of tears (1617) and the French Jesuit Pierre Le Moyne’s La dévotion aisée / An easy devotion (1652). The writers of the Catholic Counter-Reformation looked to draft a new understanding of compassionate social interaction. This model pointed to a new and more worldly form of Christian civility, generated and underwritten by a sweet management of our own self.