A movement set off by the Catholic Church to curtail the spread of Protestantism that was threatening its power. Though the official launching of the Counter-Reformation took place at the Council of Trent, convoked in 1545 by Pope Paul III, steps had already been taken to fight Protestantism. In 1540, Paul confirmed the Jesuit Order, its main purpose to convert the heathen through missionary work. Two years later, he established the Inquisition to extirpate heretics from the Catholic world and the Index of Forbidden Books to prevent the propagation of dissenting ideas. New dioceses were established in regions where Protestantism was considered a threat and seminaries opened so clerics could be trained to fight hereticism effectively.
   The Counter-Reformation affected art as well. A vast number of churches were erected, many following the prescriptions of St. Charles Borromeo, one of the guiding forces of the Council of Trent who, in 1577, wrote a treatise on the building of these structures. Gabriele Paleotti, archbishop of Bologna, wrote the Intorno alle imagini in 1582, a guide on the proper depiction of sacred and profane images, as specified by the Tridentine council. These types of texts served to propagate the guidelines for Baroque art: clarity of representation, historical accuracy, emphasis on emotional content to invoke piety, and narratives that assert the validity of Catholic doctrines, particularly those questioned by the Protestants.

Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. . 2008.

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  • Counter-Reformation — [kount΄ər ref΄ər mā′shən] n. the reform movement in the Roman Catholic Church in the 16th cent., following the Protestant Reformation and in answer to it * * * or Catholic Reformation In Roman Catholicism, efforts in the 16th and early 17th… …   Universalium

  • Counter Reformation — 1840, from COUNTER (Cf. counter ) + REFORMATION (Cf. Reformation) …   Etymology dictionary

  • Counter-Reformation — [kount΄ər ref΄ər mā′shən] n. the reform movement in the Roman Catholic Church in the 16th cent., following the Protestant Reformation and in answer to it …   English World dictionary

  • Counter-Reformation — Main articles: History of Christianity and History of the Catholic Church The Vulgata The council then went on to cite Sacred Tradition in support of the Vulgate s The Counter Reformation (also the Catholic Revival[1] or Catholic Reformation)… …   Wikipedia

  • Counter Reformation — noun the reaction of the Roman Catholic Church to the Reformation reaffirming the veneration of saints and the authority of the Pope (to which Protestants objected); many leaders were Jesuits • Hypernyms: ↑religious movement * * * the movement… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Counter-Reformation — n. 1 (Counter Reformation) hist. the reform of the Church of Rome in the 16th and 17th centuries which took place in response to the Protestant Reformation. 2 a reformation running counter to another …   Useful english dictionary

  • Counter-Reformation —    This term is used to describe the comprehensive response of the Roman Catholic Church to theProtestant Reformation. The Counter Reformation found theological expression at the Council of Trent (1545 1563) and was a major influence in the… …   Glossary of theological terms

  • Counter-Reformation, The — • Denotes the period of Catholic revival from the pontificate of Pope Pius IV in 1560 to the close of the Thirty Years War, 1648 Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006 …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • counter-reformation — /ˌkaʊntə rɛfəˈmeɪʃən/ (say .kowntuh refuh mayshuhn) noun a reformation opposed to or counteracting a previous reformation …  

  • Counter Reformation — the movement within the Roman Catholic Church that followed the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century. * * * …   Universalium

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