Tony Bennett is Emeritus Professor at the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University and Honorary Professor in the Humanities Research Centre at the Australian National University. Among his many books are
Pathways to Virtue
This chapter considers the place accorded habit in Michel Foucault's account of pastoral power. An aspect of the role of obedience in the mechanisms of pastoral government, habit was also a force that must be broken with for souls to be guided by the pastorate on the road to salvation. This duality of habit formed a part of the binary structure of medieval society in being limited to its upper echelons and distinguished from the more routinized forms of training brought to bear on the customs of lower social strata. The chapter outlines the respects in which this duality has informed later schismatic divisions in the relations between habit and repetition in constituting a pathway to grace for some at the expense of the more routinized forms of government applied to others. It also examines the counterconducts developed in the Reformation in disputation of the pastoral government of habit's pathways.