From Theology to History
Toutes ces belles contro¥erses Sur les religions di¥erses N'ont jamais produit aucun bien: Chacun s' anime pour la sienne; Et que fait-on pour la chretienne? On dispute, et l'on ne fait rien. - Saint-E¥remond, 1614-1703. This book asserts, contrary to Saint-E¥remond, that religious controversy on the eve of the Enlightenment was far from sterile or antichristian. In reconstructing a French religious debate of the era of the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, it shows how the debate allowed both lay and clerical thinkers of the late seventeenth century to discuss the critical issues of their own day. The Revocation era was an era of crisis not only for French Protestantism, but for Protestantism in general: the final acts of the English Revolution were played out during these years, and the northern maritime alliance against the Catholic Louis XIV took shape. The Revocation era was also a period of exciting intellectual ferment in religion, morality, politics and science. Although the topic of the religious debate in France was historical - the history of the Reformation, the discussion of the topic reflected both the crisis and ferment of the times.