The Religion of the Poor is an ambitious survey of Catholic missions into the European countryside from 1500 to 1800. The acclaimed French historian Louis Chatellier analyses the impulses to missionary activity at the end of the Middle Ages, and the specific conception of Ignatius Loyola. He then outlines in detail the development of missionary activity after the Council of Trent. In the second part Professor Chatellier discusses the type of religion proffered by the missionaries, examining a variety of key themes in Catholic belief, including the role of deity, of the cross, and of Satan. The book contains a concluding summary of the impact of these rural missions up to the French Revolution, and documents the way in which they changed in reaction to external social and political circumstance.