Huguenots and Camisards as Aliens in France, 1589-1789 the Struggle for Religious Toleration

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This volume provides a revisionist interpretation and scholarly overview of the struggle for religious toleration in France, focusing on the Huguenots and Camisards. It demonstrates, from a close examination of contemporary writings (many never before explored), local experiences, and quantitative data, that there were other possibilities to the Revocation; it then analyzes why France did not take that road less traveled. Each chapter provides updated historiographic revision on misunderstood aspects of French religious history, showing that the enemy of tolerance was not intolerance, but the drive for unity. Several new features include highlighting the role of the General Assembly of the Clergy, the Company of the Most Holy Sacrament, and other groups who lobbied the Bourbons to crush dissident groups. Equally emphasized are groups  philosophes, writers, government and church administrators, clergy  who fought for religious toleration over two centuries. Includes a 70-page bibliography of sources.


"Based on extensive exploration of primary and secondary sources, this work represents an impressive synthesis of the history of relations between the French absolutist state and the Protestant minority in the reign of the Louis XIV&. An extended introduction and two opening chapters deal with the French Protestants in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. The concluding Two chapters take the story through the Age of Enlightenment to the Revolution." -Journal of Church and State

"The events leading up to Fontainbleu, the brutal repression that followed, and the consequences of such intolerance constitute the centerpiece of Strayers work. Strayer provides a detailed narrative of these events, but he combines this with a review of the historiographical debates over the repeal, an analysis of the theological and ecclesiastical arguments provoked by it, and an assessment of its impact&. Strayer draws on an enormous amount of research for his work; the bibliography, which runs to seventy pages, will prove invaluable to future scholars. Strayer synthesizes the specialized secondary literature, but he draws as well on extensive reading in contemporary pamphlets and a judicious sampling of archival materials&. Strayer is concerned primarily with the relationship between a religious community and the state, which he treats in an exemplary manner. Strayer's case study is both compelling in its own terms, and powerful argument in favor of his normative position." - Journal of Presbyterian History

"The aim of this volume is to examine the history of the Huguenots under the Ancien Regime. While the introductory chapters look at the emergence of the Huguenots, the Edict of Nantes and the reign of Louis XIII, the majority of the work, however, concentrates on the government of Louis XIV and the 18th century, with five chapters dedicated to the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes and the impact that this had upon French Protestantism. Although a substantial volume, which provides a synthesis of existing scholarship and original research -as evidenced by the 70-page bibliography -it is nonetheless accessible to the general reader ... This is a readable and useful volume." - The Huguenot Society of Great Britain and Ireland

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