By Mack P. Holt

This ebook is a brand new variation of Mack P. Holt's vintage examine of the French spiritual wars of the 16th and 17th centuries. Drawing at the scholarship of social and cultural historians of the Reformation, it exhibits how faith infused either politics and the socio-economic tensions of the interval to provide an extended prolonged civil conflict. Professor Holt integrates court docket politics and the political idea of the elites with the non secular studies of the preferred periods, providing a clean viewpoint at the wars and on why the French have been keen to kill their acquaintances within the identify of faith.

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Trained as a lawyer at the Universities of Orle´ans and Bourges, Calvin’s legal background which immersed him deeply in Christian humanist scholarship would play a major role in shaping the thought and ideas of this would-be reformer. Unlike Luther, who was not a product of a Christian humanist education, Calvin was enamored with classical learning in the same way that Lefe`vre d’Etaples was in Meaux. Calvin had written a humanist commentary on a treatise of Seneca in 1532, which had given him some small degree of notoriety among French humanists.

It was in the midst of this ‘Gallican crisis’ in 1551 that anti-papal, pro-Gallican rhetoric reached its apex, including Jean du Tillet’s ‘On the liberties of the Gallican church’ cited at the beginning of this chapter. With the recent defection of England, where the succession of Edward VI in 1547 only further undermined the Catholic church by formally adopting Protestant doctrine and a state church, further division could only weaken Catholic efforts to combat a growing Protestant menace throughout Christendom.

In short, all those who in exercising precise trades and minute techniques developed within themselves a temperament inclined to seek practical solutions . . all had equal need of a clear, reasonably human and gently fraternal religion which would serve as their light support. Thus Febvre’s social foundation of the Reformation was a far cry from Hauser’s urban proletariat composed of ‘mechanics’. 34 During the past three decades, however, historians interested in the social history of the Reformation have managed to go far beyond these older approaches of Hauser and Febvre.

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