Version classiqueVersion mobile

Foi, Fidélité, Amitié en Europe à la période moderne

 | 
Brigitte Maillard

Sensibilité et pratiques religieuses

Belief, sincerity and the "wars of irreligion" in sixteenth-century France

David Nicholls

Texte intégral

Les uns font accroire au monde ce qu’ils ne croyent pas. Les autres, en plus grand nombre, se le font accroire à eux-mesmes, ne sçachans pas penetrer que c’est que croire (Montaigne)

  • 1 J. DELUMEAU, Prescription and Reality, in E. Leites (ed.), Conscience and Casuistry in Ear (...)

1Historians of religion live and work in a constant State of frustration. Unless we confine our interests to the history of churches or of religious thought, the objects of our studies are the outward manifestations of intimate beliefs, feelings and opinions about which we are unable to interrogate our subjects directly. As Jean Delumeau has pointed out, belief cannot be quantified, only the outward signs can be measured, and these may be influenced by outside rules, such as a legal requirement of observance: "Voltaire took communion more often than Pascal"1. We are thus faced with the methodological problem of what assumptions we are entitled to make about religious belief: a dilemma which is particularly acute for a period when the wrong beliefs could lead their holder to death at the stake. The idea of belief has a history as equivocal as the better-known history of unbelief. The purpose of this brief sketch is to draw attention to this problem of belief and the attendant question of religious sincerity in an age of religious conflict. The predicament of how to détermine religious sincerity was a crucial element in France’s wars of religion and especially in attempting to bring them to an end. But the starting point in making sense of this aspect of events is not so much belief as unbelief.

  • 2 L. FEBVRE, Le problème de l’incroyance au XVIe siècle: La religion de Rabelais (Paris, 194 (...)
  • 3 The most substantial work here, though highly problematic in various ways, is F. BERRIOT, (...)
  • 4 J. WIRTH, La naissance du concept de croyance (XIIe-XVIIe siècles), Bibliothèque d’humanis (...)

2The problem of unbelief in sixteenth-century France was renewed in 1942 by Lucien Febvre in a book which, though properly considered a classic, bears indelibly the imprint of the circumstances of its composition and puts forward a thesis about the impossibility of "real" atheism due to a lack of the proper "mental tools" which is now generally considered untenable2. More recent work, while invalidating Febvre’s view of a "century which wanted to believe" (un siècle qui veut croire), has nevertheless confirmed the significance of the fear of atheism in determining attitudes towards religion3. We may call the sixteenth century not so much a "century which wanted to believe", more a "century which was afraid to disbelieve", fearful of the social and political consequences of unbelief, but haunted by the spectre of atheism. One of the main themes of Febvre’s book, and one which retains its validity, is the imprecision of the vocabulary involved, as the term "atheist" was used in a variety of ways and hurled about as an insult. Yet this was part of a broader picture, equally applicable to the language of belief. It comes as no surprise to learn that the word croyance, having an exclusively religious meaning (unlike the more wide-ranging English "belief"), appears during the religious wars in the 1560s and 1570s, in senses still coupled with foi and fairly unrefined and sometimes contradictory in exact meaning. If we take into account different meanings of the word religion as well, we are forced to acknowledge what Jean Wirth calls "l’absence de conceptualisation rigoureuse des phénomènes religieux", a defect not caused by the lack of a proper Febvrian "outillage mental", but better seen as a useful tool for dissimulation, an ideological contrivance for delusion and self-delusion4.

  • 5 Pierre DE LA PLACE, Commentaires de l’estat de la religion et république sous les rois Hen (...)
  • 6 E. PASQUIER, Lettres historiques pour les années 1556-1594, ed. D. Thickett (Geneva, 1966) (...)
  • 7 LA PLACE, Commentaires, p. 47.
  • 8 Sermons sur la première epistre à Timothée, in Opera quae supersunt omnia, 59 vols. (Bruns (...)
  • 9 Quoted in R. SAUZET, Présence renovée du catholicisme, in F. Lebrun (ed.), Histoire des ca (...)
  • 10 Quoted in A. LEBIGRE, La révolution des curés (Paris, 1980), p. 166.

3Such was the potency and pervasiveness of fears about atheism, almost amounting to a kind of cognitive panic, in the mid-sixteenth century that the wars of religion have been called "wars of irreligion". Perhaps it may be more judicious to talk of wars of irreligion as a component part of the religious wars, itself an epithet which some historians now insist on placing in inverted commas in deference to the political and social aspects of events incapable of being reduced to a single dimension. The "atheist scare" had several ingredients, but it became marked on the eve of the religious wars as a result of on the one hand concem over the consequences of religious divisions and on the other hand a new awareness among reformers in both camps of the limits of popular Christianity. Charles de Marillac, archbishop of Vienne, in a speech to the royal council at Fontainebleau in August 1560 referred to ’atheism, which is growing visibly [qui croist à veue d’œil]5. "Open the door of dispute", said Etienne Pasquier, "and there is no article of faith on which badly-intentioned spirits will not throw doubt"6. In the Catholic view, as put forward by Michel de l’Hôpital, "everyone in time of peace had created a religion for themselves, some in good faith, some through error, some through malice"7. In Calvin’s view, on the other side, those who had moved away from Catholicism, become Protestant, and then cooled down were left without religion and became atheists, giving themselves over to dissolute life and blasphemy, while his congregationalist opponent, Jean Morély, expressed a similar fear8. Later, atheists appeared to be everywhere. Pierre Crespet, commenting on the burning in Metz of the atheist Noël Journet, said that "it was wrong of the judges to condemn an atheist, because if we wanted to burn them all there would be no wood left in the forests"9. And in the linguistic delirium of the League a preacher said of Blois, where the Guises had been murdered, that "three quarters of the inhabitants are heretics and atheists and the rest pagans"10.

  • 11 P. VIRET, Quatre sermons français sur Esaie 65 (mars 1559), ed. H. Meylan (Lausanne, 1961) (...)
  • 12 François DE LA NOUE, Discours politiques et militaires, ed. F. E. Sutcliffe (Geneva, 1967) (...)

4This intellectual atheism could also be a sign that the end of the world was nigh. According to Pierre Viret in 1559 the age was witnessing the fulfilment of St Peter’s prophecy that in the last days of the world there will appear mockers of God, His promises and the threat of His judgement. Because people see no evidence of His providence at work they will come to disbelieve in Him, thus adding the worst possible heresy to the numerous errors of the times11. And another Protestant, François de la Noue, also pointed out that atheism would be rife in the last days: "If one asks who has produced such a generation, it is well said that our wars of religion have made us forget religion. And no-one must claim ’It is the other side who have created the atheists’, for they are to be found on all sides"12.

  • 13 See BERRIOT, Athéismes, pp. 128-194,205-217, though his interprétation is debatable.
  • 14 A. N. GALPERN, The Religions of the People in Sixteenth-Century Champagne (Cambridge, Mass (...)
  • 15 X. AZEMA, Evangélisation populaire sous l’ancien régime: le faubourg Boutonnet, à Montpell (...)
  • 16 PASQUIER, Lettres historiques, p. 229.

5Irreligion existed if people looked for it, and as religious moralists took more interest in the beliefs of the people they identified (or created in their own imaginations) classes dangereuses, made more dangerous by religious conflict. A new consciousness of the fragility of faith created paranoia not merely about intellectual libertines or the Italianate fashions of the royal court but about all behaviour which seemed to lead towards irreligion and the milieux in which it was to be found. Blasphemy, withcraft, astrology, homosexuality and all contraventions of "natural laws", as well as prostitution and begging were all taken as signs of rampant atheism13. But not only "marginal" groups were implicated. Longstanding ignorance about religion seemed to be strengthened and made visible by religious conflict. In Champagne and Normandy authorities preoccupied with "atheists" saw them as people outside religion rather than opponents of one side or the other14. Soldiers were seen as effectively outside religion, and war damage and generalized confusion in many areas destroyed churches and denied people the possibility of worship. The Boutonnet suburb of Montpellier had no place for worship by either religion throughout the wars, while the faubourg St Antoine of Montauban was "full of insultors of God", having ni prèche ni messe15. It was, said Pasquier, "murders, homicides and assassinations, born in the midst of arms, which very often lead to atheism”16.

  • 17 Quoted in W. J. BOUWSMA, John Calvin: a Sixteenth-Century Portrait (Oxford, 1988), p. 167.

6Such fears betray a new consciousness of the fragility of faith. When people were accused of being atheists in a seemingly indiscriminate manner it was because their behaviour seemed to be leading towards irreligion, either by making a mockery of belief or by adding to the confusion about what true belief was. On a personal level it had always been accepted that personal misfortune could drive people to reject God or deny His existence, but in a world of solidly anchored and universally acknowledged belief such problems could be dealt with. "When things in the world are confused", as Calvin put it, the temptation to think that "everything is ruled by chance, that things happen blindly, and that God plays with men like tennis balls" or that "God does not bother to think of us" becomes ever stronger, "because the human mind is bewildered when we try to grasp confused things that surpass our judgement and reason"17. In "normal" times the idea of misfortune as a result of God’s anger could be dealt with by appeasement through penitence and moral reform or by finding scapegoats, including heretics and blasphemers: there was no need for atheists. The "atheists scare", therefore, manifested itself among the more politically and intellectually aware, those who realized that what was happening was outside the usual range of God’s anger with His negligent people and who knew what an atheist was.

  • 18 P. ZAGORIN, Ways of Lying: Dissimulation, Persecution, and Conformity in Early Modem Europ (...)

7The true atheist, however, it was firmly believed, "hid his life", according to the ancient precept of the Epicureans, in Montaigne’s arrière-boutique of the mind. The question of irreligion, obsessive as it may have been for those worried by it, was only a part of the wider issue of sincerity. If faith was fragile, if religious opinions were literally a matter of life and death, if the open expression of even marginally disreputable judgements on religious matters could be physically hazardous, and if people have been persuaded or persuaded themselves that adherents of an opposed confession are in reality agents of the Devil, then dissembling or outright duplicity on religious matters become not merely advisable but necessary and justifiable. The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in Europe have been called the "Age of Dissimulation", when intellectual justifications for dissimulation by the persecuted were developed and used by Marranos in Spain, Protestants in Italy, Catholics in England, and others18. In France during the religious wars the wisdom of necessity imposed deceit and hypocrisy, depending on the circumstance, upon adherents of all religions or none and upon the hesitant or sceptical, unwilling to commit themselves wholeheartedly to one side or the other.

  • 19 The bibliography on propaganda during the wars of religion is now immense, with CROUZET’s (...)

8For committed belligerents in religious conflict the enemy was never what he appeared to be: his public face was a pious mask covering the true face of political and social subversion, moral corruption, treason, malice and theological evil. He was doubly "other": a Huguenot, papist or politique, which was bad enough, and at the same time something even more sinister, a monster lurking behind a mask of deliberately created ambiguity. Appreciation of this psychosis is one way of understanding the viciousness of the conflict and the desire for the total destruction of the enemy. The theme of "masks", the exposure of what the enemy is "really" like, is a well-known and frequently studied organizing principle of the propaganda of the wars, but it could only have been effective if people were already thinking that way, if they were attuned to the idea that public faces hid private vices. Of course, many of those involved in the wars were wearing religious masks, donning the manteau de la religion for purely personal ends, which could be genuinely political but just as often went no further than mere pillage and local aggrandisement. The accusation of hypocrisy was easy enough to make against the deserving and undeserving alike. And if, as was widely assumed, "anti-Christian" behaviour must lead to anti-Christian belief, then the wars provided constant evidence of the decline or death of religion. The wars of religion were also wars of bad faith, in every sense of the phrase. The urban population, literate or not, was bombarded with images of Protestants as libertines and lascivious atheists, Leaguers as devilish monsters or (worse) Spanish Jesuits, politiques as time-serving trimmers holding religion in contempt, Henry III as a libidinous sodomite, and so on, all this shape-shifting proving that the fight against the "other" was part of the final battle against the forces of evil19. The people may not (as historians often seem to assume) have swallowed all this whole – many certainly did not – but uncertainty was in everyone’s mind. Just how were they to know that anyone was as he seemed? In a world of masks, sincerity was a slippery entity and all proofs were problematic.

  • 20 The pamphlet in question is Excuse de Jehan Calvin à Messieurs les Nicodemites sur la comp (...)
  • 21 D. NICHOLLS, The Theatre of Martyrdom in the French Reformation, Past and Present, no. 121 (...)

9Historians face a similar quandary in recognizing sincerity and the realities of croyance, but at least we may seek to explain how the problem arose. The roots of the predicament lie in the Reformation, in redefinitions of belief and its consequences in the world, new mental permutations which the language took time to catch up with. Religious militants demanded total sincerity, that is a complete conformity between thought and outward behaviour. Calvin, in typically uncompromising fashion, laid down the law for the Protestant faithful. His unyielding attitude towards ail forms of "Nicodemism" implied a rejection of merely outward conformity of any kind. Those who for whatever reason refused to match inward belief with public profession were mocking God; only complete transparency between conviction and action was acceptable. Calvin’s broadside, published in 1544, against various kinds of "Nicodemite", some of whom were nothing of the kind but simply people who rejected the full doctrine of Reformed Protestantism, was unfair, distorted and impractical for a country without religious freedom, but it set the tone for polemics on both sides throughout the rest of the century20. Those facing martyrdom endured similar injunctions: the faithful should be prepared for persecution and if death cornes should accept it joyfully, because witnessing the truth is more precious than life itself and faith should never be denied21.

10Calvin’s zealotry set the tone for all those who considered religion and religious purity as prevailing over any purely political considerations. Leaders of Catholic "parties" attacked the less than totally committed and Leaguers abused politiques just as Huguenot consistories tried to impose the most rigorous standards of behaviour on those falling under their authority. Both were seeking in their different ways to create a "new man" whose exemplary life would be the outward sign of the constant inner struggle for godliness. What, then, was acceptable as a sign of sincerity? Outward conformity, be it Catholic or Protestant, could be monitored by the spying of neighbours and authorities, but was clearly not enough. Since complete transparency between inner and outer man was being demanded, one could never be absolutely sure, and attempts to secure such total frankness inevitably became coercive. Belief was imposed by force by people who were fully aware that the kind of belief they were demanding could not ultimately be imposed by force. The only sincere person was someone who openly admitted his or her faults: the only proof of sincerity was penitence.

  • 22 J. GARRISSON, Protestants du Midi 1559-1598 (New edn., Toulouse, 1991), p. 106.
  • 23 See R. A. MENTZER, Jr., Disciplina nervus ecclesiae: The Calvinist Reform of Morals at Nîm (...)

11Protestant consistories insisted on all those accused of any fault acknowledging their crimes and making public confession and reparation as a precondition for reconciliation with the Church. A public ceremony of atonement was necessary for the lifting of excommunications and the full reintegration of the sinner into the godly community22. But for all their attempts to impose a strict public morality and stamp out all vestiges of popery and suspect popular festivities the consistories did not pry into hidden secrets in the manner of Catholic confessors; Protestant discipline was as much social as religious, and the bourgeois elders of the consistories would not have wished to be compared with papist impostors23. The faithful were expected to be permanently penitent, but in practice if not in theory Protestant moralism left room for hypocrisy – something their enemies were not slow to notice and deride.

  • 24 D. CROUZET, Recherches sur les processions blanches – 1583-1584, Histoire, économie et soc (...)
  • 25 La vie et innocence des deux frères (1589), quoted in M. GREENGRASS, The Public Context of (...)

12On the Catholic side penitence took more spectacular forms, reaching its apogee with the League when the obsession with seeing enemies everywhere came closest to coinciding with reality. Movements of penitents in Champagne and elsewhere in the early 1580s sought to demonstrate a new unanimity of thought and action in a purified Catholicism and paved the way for the emotional piety of the urban League24. The League in turn tried to create a penitent society, but the question of sincerity was still unanswerable, even with the help of psychological and physical terrorism, threats and executions. Moreover, the psychosis over the good faith of supposedly sincere Catholics took on a social dimension, at least in Paris, the principal objects of suspicion being politique officers who "vont à la messe... font la Pasque... vont les premiers aux Processions... ont les premières places et les premiers rangs. Mais o bon dieu ce n’est qu’en corps. L’esprit est à composer comment ils pourront ourdir les tromperies pour retenir leurs bons amis les hérétiques"25. The prying by Church and state into individual consciences, which could never have been systematic and was opposed by influential sections of opinion, but which was a logical consequence of religious conflict, gave way to mass demonstrations of sincerity, locating good faith in a supposedly guileless good Catholic people. But this was an illusion, a creation of Leaguer preachers and pamphleteers: it might come close to existence in the highly charged but ephemeral atmosphere of a city under League control, but it could only be sustained by a religious dictatorship which turned out to be flying in the face of the political development of the kingdom.

  • 26 See M. WOLFE, The Conversion of Henri IV: Politics, Power, and Religious Belief in Early M (...)
  • 27 WOLFE, Conversion of Henri IV, p. 190.
  • 28 Cf. D. CROUZET, Henri IV, King of Reason?, in Cameron (ed.), From Valois to Bourbon, pp. 7 (...)

13If penitence was the only true sign of sincerity, this had to be at its most conspicuous in ceremonies of abjuration and conversion, and above all that of Henry of Navarre. As recent studies have made clear, the key question was not the king’s sincerity but how far he was perceived to be sincere26. The short ceremony of penitence at the king’s abjuration proved nothing to League preachers, for whom it was merely another "feinte conversion" of a kind of which they had already seen many. Henry’s apparent lack of true contrition was an act of both political and theological defiance: he was in effect asserting that he had no duty to show repentance to anyone except God, and least of ail to rabble-rousing demagogues in Paris. Given his reputation, his past history of changing religion, and the necessity of asserting his political will by driving home the idea that obedience to God meant obedience to the king, he could do no other. Doubts about the king’s sincerity had to be suppressed in order to save the monarchy, and the Catholic and Protestant camps both split into those who could accept this and those who could not. The relationship between the king of France and God had to be hidden from public view, and the duty of the loyal subject to accept the justice of royal measures without questioning the king’s motives27. Even most Leaguers ended up by accepting this so as to avoid repetition of the horrors of civil war. Henry IV as "king of Reason" may also be said to have been the "king of insincerity": the people were to obey God by obeying the king, and his Personal sincerity was none of their business28. Subsequent history was to show that not everyone was prepared to go along with the show, with extremely dangerous consequences. The Bourbon solution to the question of sincerity was regrettably consistent with the ideal of uniformity of confession, but until 1685 at least the problem was displaced into the political sphere.

14This brief sketch has sought to show that the history of religion may be profitably considered without preconceptions about the history of belief. The Reformation changed the terms in which religious belief was considered, and the obsession with sincerity underlying the religious conflict had consequences which underline the "modernity" of the sixteenth century, the questioning of religious belief at the most fundamental level and debates about politics and religion in recognizably "modem" terms. Historians have considered, quite rightly, the longue durée of mental outlooks and religious observance, but this should not be the sole object of inquiry. By going to the heart of the matter – what was religious belief, how was it defined and to what extent were people really "believers"? – the balance between the longue durée and the effects of religious change and conflict may be attained- And in studying religious conflict the fundamental question may be: "Who cared about religion, under what circumstances and for how long?".

15Historians are forced to judge people according to their actions, and while we may easily discern sincerity or insincerity in some cases, most dramatically those who were prepared to die for their beliefs, for the rest we might be better off studying dissimulation and hypocrisy, approaching belief from the angle of its fragility. If historians still cannot agree about such a relatively well-documented individual as Henry of Navarre, prince of the blood and king of France, how may we presume to understand people about whom, when all is said and done, we know very little, viewing them as we do through a glass darkly, the distorting prisms of the "archives of repression", the loaded opinions of writers, preachers and polemicists, and printed sources which inevitably reproduce the standpoints and mentalities of their authors?

  • 29 DELUMEAU, Prescription and Reality, p. 150.

16"It is a pity", says Delumeau, "we have no history of ’hypocrisy’ in society"29. We are well informed about intellectual traditions of casuistry (far older than the Reformation) and their application by religious minorities caught in hostile environments, that is to say people who combined sincerity and courage to an extraordinary degree. But we know less about ordinary everyday hypocrisy, an attentisme similar perhaps to that practised by so many people under twentieth-century totalitarian regimes. In an age when attempts to create a "new man" have conspicuously failed, then perhaps the failure of earlier religious enterprises should be placed at the centre of historical concerns.

Notes

1 J. DELUMEAU, Prescription and Reality, in E. Leites (ed.), Conscience and Casuistry in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge, 1988), p. 141.

2 L. FEBVRE, Le problème de l’incroyance au XVIe siècle: La religion de Rabelais (Paris, 1942). Febvre’s work is placed in context by N. Z. DAVIS, Rabelais among the Censors (1940s, 1540s), Representations, no. 32 (Fall, 1990), pp. 1-32.

3 The most substantial work here, though highly problematic in various ways, is F. BERRIOT, Athéismes et athéistes au XVIe siècle en France, 2 vols. (Thèse, Université de Lille III, 1976). Current approaches to the atheist question in early-modem Europe are represented in M. WINTER and D. WOOTTON (eds.), Atheism front the Refbrmation to the Enlightenment (Oxford, 1992). M. GAUNA, Upwellings: First Expressions of Unbelief in the Printed Literature of the French Renaissance (Rutherford, N. J., 1992) is a recent study of unbelief in literature concentrating on the Cymbalum Mundi and Jacques Tahureau’s Dialogues of 1558.

4 J. WIRTH, La naissance du concept de croyance (XIIe-XVIIe siècles), Bibliothèque d’humanisme et Renaissance, xliv (1983), 7-58. One of the leading specialists in the field has referred to the mid-sixteenth century in France as the "crucial turning point" in establishing the "vocabulary of unbelief: D. WOOTTON, Lucien Febvre and the Problem of Unbelief in the Early Modem Period, Journal of Modern History, 60 (1988), p. 706. The same point applies to the vocabulary of belief.

5 Pierre DE LA PLACE, Commentaires de l’estat de la religion et république sous les rois Henry et François seconds et Charles neufviesme, in Choix des chroniques et mémoires sur l’histoire de France, XVIe siècle, ed. J. A. C. Buchon (Paris, 1836), p. 60.

6 E. PASQUIER, Lettres historiques pour les années 1556-1594, ed. D. Thickett (Geneva, 1966), p. 226.

7 LA PLACE, Commentaires, p. 47.

8 Sermons sur la première epistre à Timothée, in Opera quae supersunt omnia, 59 vols. (Brunswick, 1865-80) liii, 109-10; J. MORELY, Traité de la discipline et police chrestienne (Lyon, 1562), p. 11.

9 Quoted in R. SAUZET, Présence renovée du catholicisme, in F. Lebrun (ed.), Histoire des catholiques en France du XVe siècle à nos jours (Toulouse, 1980), p. 108.

10 Quoted in A. LEBIGRE, La révolution des curés (Paris, 1980), p. 166.

11 P. VIRET, Quatre sermons français sur Esaie 65 (mars 1559), ed. H. Meylan (Lausanne, 1961), pp. 15-17. The apocalyptic strain in religious conflict and violence has been discussed magisterially by Denis CROUZET in his Les guerriers de Dieu. La violence au temps des troubles de religion, vers 1525-vers 1610, 2 vols. (Seyssel, 1990).

12 François DE LA NOUE, Discours politiques et militaires, ed. F. E. Sutcliffe (Geneva, 1967), pp. 20- 29; quotation at pp. 22-23.

13 See BERRIOT, Athéismes, pp. 128-194,205-217, though his interprétation is debatable.

14 A. N. GALPERN, The Religions of the People in Sixteenth-Century Champagne (Cambridge, Mass., 1976), pp. 187-88; Cahiers des Etats de Normandie sous le règne de Henri IV, ed. C. de Robillard de Beaurepaire. 2 vols. (Rouen, 1880-82) i, 3.

15 X. AZEMA, Evangélisation populaire sous l’ancien régime: le faubourg Boutonnet, à Montpellier, Annales du Midi, lxxxii (1970), 399-400; Histoire ecclésiastique des églises réformées au royaume de France, ed. G. Baum and E. Cunitz. 3 vols. (Paris, 1883-89) iii, 113.

16 PASQUIER, Lettres historiques, p. 229.

17 Quoted in W. J. BOUWSMA, John Calvin: a Sixteenth-Century Portrait (Oxford, 1988), p. 167.

18 P. ZAGORIN, Ways of Lying: Dissimulation, Persecution, and Conformity in Early Modem Europe (Cambridge, Mass., 1990).

19 The bibliography on propaganda during the wars of religion is now immense, with CROUZET’s Les guerriers de Dieu as the indispensable starting point. Recent contributions stressing the theme of masks are D. A. BELL, Unmasking a King: The Political Uses of Popular Literature under the French Catholic League, 1588-89, Sixteenth Century Journal, XX, No. 3 (1989), pp. 371-386, and P. PAPIN, Duplicité et traîtrise: l’image des "politiques" durant la Ligue, Revue d’histoire moderne et contemporaine, xxxviii (1991), 3-21.

20 The pamphlet in question is Excuse de Jehan Calvin à Messieurs les Nicodemites sur la complaincte qu’ilz font de sa trop grand’rigueur (1544). On Nicodemism as a more or less coherent doctrine in an old and respectable Christian tradition, see Carlo GINZBURG, Il Nicodemismo. Simulazione e dissimulazione religiosa nell’Europa del ‘500 (Turin, 1970).

21 D. NICHOLLS, The Theatre of Martyrdom in the French Reformation, Past and Present, no. 121 (Nov. 1988), p. 66.

22 J. GARRISSON, Protestants du Midi 1559-1598 (New edn., Toulouse, 1991), p. 106.

23 See R. A. MENTZER, Jr., Disciplina nervus ecclesiae: The Calvinist Reform of Morals at Nîmes, Sixteenth Century Journal, XVIII, no. 1 (1987), pp. 89-115.

24 D. CROUZET, Recherches sur les processions blanches – 1583-1584, Histoire, économie et société, no.4 (1982), pp. 511-563.

25 La vie et innocence des deux frères (1589), quoted in M. GREENGRASS, The Public Context of the Abjuration of Henri IV, in K. Cameron (ed.), From Valois to Bourbon: Dynasty, State and Society in Early Modern France (Exeter, 1989), p. 120.

26 See M. WOLFE, The Conversion of Henri IV: Politics, Power, and Religious Belief in Early Modern France (Cambridge, Mass., 1993), pp. 12-21 and passim, and GREENGRASS, Public Context.

27 WOLFE, Conversion of Henri IV, p. 190.

28 Cf. D. CROUZET, Henri IV, King of Reason?, in Cameron (ed.), From Valois to Bourbon, pp. 73- 106.

29 DELUMEAU, Prescription and Reality, p. 150.

Auteur

Université de Leeds

© Presses universitaires François-Rabelais, 1995

Conditions d’utilisation : http://www.openedition.org/6540

Cette publication numérique est issue d’un traitement automatique par reconnaissance optique de caractères.
Rechercher dans OpenEdition Search

Vous allez être redirigé vers OpenEdition Search