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The Theology of Early French Protestantism: From the Affair of the Placards to the Edict of Nantes (Klauber, ed.)


Martin I. Klauber and his troupe of capable historians survey the tumultuous era of the first three generations of French Protestantism. The first part of the book provides historical context, including chapters on the national synods of the French Reformed churches, the wars of religion, the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, the conversion of Henry IV, and the political views of the French Monarchomachs. The second part of the book takes a closer look at the lives and contributions of leading French reformers like Guillaume Farel, Nicolas des Gallers, John Calvin, Sebastian Castellio, Peter Ramus, Antoine de Chandieu, Simon Goulart, Theodore Beza, Pierre Viret, and Philippe du Plessis-Mornay. This collection provides a quality introduction to French Reformed theology in the sixteenth century.


Foreword —Richard A. Muller

Introduction —Martin I. Klauber

Part One: The Historical Background

  1. National Synods and French Reformed Polity —Glenn S. Sunshine
  2. The French Wars of Religion —Martin I. Klauber
  3. Une Horrible Boucherie on St. Bartholomew’s Day —Michael A. G. Haykin and Martin I. Klauber
  4. The Conversion of Henri IV —Lana Martysheva
  5. The French Monarchomachs —Martin I. Klauber

Part Two: Theology and Theologians

  1. Guillaume Farel’s Trinitarian Prayers —Theodore G. Van Raalte
  2. Nicholas des Gallars and the Colloquy of Poissy —Jeannine Olson
  3. John Calvin’s Use of Ambrose —Anthony Lane
  4. Sebastian Castellio in France and the Travail of Unwanted Advice —Gary W. Jenkins
  5. Peter Ramus in History and Theology —Donald K. McKim
  6. Antoine de Chandieu’s Quiet Opposition to the Jesuits —Theodore G. Van Raalte
  7. Simon Goulart’s Impact on the French Reformation —Karin Maag
  8. Theodore Beza, Reformer in Exile —Scott M. Manetsch
  9. Pierre Viret, Reformer on the Margins —Michael Bruening
  10. Philippe Duplessis-Mornay’s Use of Augustine —Martin I. Klauber


“In engaging and lucid prose, Martin Klauber and a team of early modern scholars have added a third and welcome volume of historical theology filling a significant scholarly gap on issues and figures in the development of the theology and confessional identity of sixteenth-century French Reformed churches. This volume is an important contribution to graduate seminars and sixteenth-century studies and will be a reference point in future studies.”

—Todd M. Rester, associate professor of church history, Westminster Theological Seminary

“The movements of reformation in sixteenth-century France were profound and vital but have too often been overlooked. The distinguished studies in this book deepen our understanding of the struggles of the Reformed there to build the church and of the work of its wisest leaders and theologians. A very valuable collection.”

—W. Robert Godfrey, president emeritus and professor emeritus of church history, Westminster Seminary California

About the Editor

Martin I. Klauber (PhD, University of Wisconsin–Madison) is an affiliate professor of church history at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.


The Theology of the French Reformed Churches: From Henry IV to the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes (Klauber)


The Theology of the French Reformed Churches introduces us to the Huguenots of the seventeenth century. The period was an unusual one in which France boasted two state religions, Roman Catholic and Protestant, due to the protections afforded the latter by the Edict of Nantes in 1598.

In this book, Martin I. Klauber and his team of scholars survey the development of and diffi culties facing the early French Reformed tradition as well as the ecclesiastical, theological, and political challenges it faced during the seventeenth century. They also investigate the important contributions made by some of its most significant theologians: Moïse Amyraut, Pierre du Moulin, Jean Daillé, Andreas Rivetus, Charles Drelincourt, Claude Pajon, Jean Claude, and Pierre Jurieu.

The theologians of the seventeenth-century French Reformed churches displayed a theological richness rarely remembered even among Reformed believers in the centuries following their labor, and this volume resurrects some of their vitality for a new audience.

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Table of Contents:

Introduction — Martin I. Klauber

Part One: The Historical Background

1. The Cradle of Reformed Theology: The Reformed Churches from Calvin’s Geneva through Henry IV & the Edict of Nantes —Jeanine Olson

2. Theodore Beza (1519–1605) and the Crisis of Reformed Protestantism in France —Scott M. Manetsch

3. The French Reformed Synods of the Seventeenth Century —Theodore G. Van Raalte

4. The French Reformed Churches, Arminianism, and the Synod of Dort (1618–1619) —Donald Sinnema

5. The French Reformed Churches: Caught between the Rise of Absolute Monarchy and the Counter Reformation —John B. Roney

6. The Edict of Nantes “à la rigueur” (1661–1685) —Marianne Carbonnier-Burkard

Part Two: Theology and Theologians in the French Reformed Churches

7. John Cameron (ca. 1579–1625) and the French Universalist Tradition — Albert Gootjes

8. Beyond Hypothetical Universalism: Moïse Amyraut (1596–1664) on Faith, Reason, and Ethics —Richard A. Muller

9. Defender of the Faith or Reformed Rabelias? Pierre du Moulin (1568–1658) and the Arminians —Martin I. Klauber

10. Whose Side are They on? Jean Daillé (1594–1670) on the Church Fathers — Martin I. Klauber

11. Andreas Rivetus (1572–1651): International Theologian and Diplomat — Willem J. van Asselt

12. The Pastoral and Polemical Theology of Charles Drelincourt (1595–1669) — R. Jane McKee

13. Polemics, Rhetoric, and Exegesis: Claude Pajon (1626–1685) on Romans 8:7 — Albert Gootjes

14. “This glorious seal of God”: Jean Claude (1619–1687), Ephesians 4:30, and Huguenot Pneumatology —Michael A. G. Haykin

15. The Devotional Theology of Pierre Jurieu (1637–1713) —Jason Zuidema


Martin I. Klauber is an Affiliate Professor of Church History at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.


“Aside from the Wars of Religion and the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, French Protestantism is largely ignored in most discussions of early modern history. This important book will help fill that void. The collected essays by many leading scholars highlight the theological contributions and historical travails of the seventeenth-century Huguenots, allowing them to resume their rightful place in a pivotal century in European history.” — Glenn S. Sunshine, professor of history, Central Connecticut State University

“This most welcome collection of essays, authored by an impressive team of leading scholars, goes to the heart of the Huguenot experience during the increasingly troubled seventeenth century. The initial chapters set the context with lucidity and precision. Subsequent contributions offer a superb exploration of the thought and influence of eight celebrated French Reformed theologians. Professor Klauber and his colleagues have provided an encompassing, informative, and absorbing assessment of Reformed theological positions and their elaboration during a critical era in the history of French Protestantism.” — Raymond A. Mentzer, Daniel J. Krumm Family Chair in Reformation Studies, University of Iowa


The Theology of the Huguenot Refuge: From the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes to the Edict of Versailles (Klauber)



French Protestants following the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes (1685) provided a rich theological tradition that has received relatively little scholarly attention.

In this book, Martin I. Klauber and his careful band of historians survey events leading up to the Revocation and various responses to it in the decades leading up to the Edict of Toleration (1787). They also investigate important theological contributions by leading French Reformed exiles like Pierre Jurieu, David Martin, Claude Brousson, Jacques Basnage, Jacques Abbadie, Daniel de Superville, and Jacques Saurin.

Whereas previous generations debated the definition of the true church, the doctrine of universal grace, and the nature of the Eucharist, post-Revocation theologians focused discussions on eschatological concerns, the problem of Nicodemism, and more political matters, such as the degree of allegiance owed to a king who had legally outlawed the Reformed faith in France.

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Table of Contents:

Introduction – Martin I. Klauber

Part One: The Historical Background

1. The Edict of Nantes and Its Revocation: A Balanced Assessment? – Jeanine Olson

2. The Huguenot Diaspora – Jane McKee

3. Prophets, Prophetism, and Violence during the War of the Camisards – W. Gregory Monahan

4. The Churches of the Desert, 1685-1789 – Pauline Duley-Haour

5. The Edict of Versailles or Tolerance of 1787: Tolerance versus Religious Identity – Marjan Blok

Part Two: Theology and Theologians in the Huguenot Refuge

6. The Apocalypticism of Pierre Jurieu (1637-1713) – Martin I. Klauber

7. David Martin (1639-1721) and Huguenot Apologetics – Richard A. Muller

8. Claude Brousson (1647-1698), Bellicose Dove – Brian E. Strayer

9. The Lettres pastorales of Jacques Basnage (1653-1723) – Martin I. Klauber

10. The Theological and Political Ideas of Jacques Abbadie (1654-1727) – John B. Roney

11. Daniel de Superville (1657-1728) and the Theology of Comfort – Martin I Klauber

12. Jacques Saurin (1677-1730) and the Love of God – Michael A.G. Haykin

13. The First Sermon of Antoine Court (1695-1760) – Otto Selles

Appendix A: The Edict of Fontainebleau (Oct. 22, 1685), or the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes

Appendix B: The Edict of Toleration (Nov. 29, 1787)

About the Editor:

Martin I. Klauber is an affiliate professor of church history at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

About the Contributors:

Marjan Blok (PhD, Protestant Faculty of Theology of Brussels) was affiliated with the Protestant Faculty of Theology in Brussels as lecturer and academic researcher.

Pauline Duley-Haour (diploma of the École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris) teaches history at the Lycée Pierre-Gilles de Gennes-ENCPB in Paris.

Michael A. G. Haykin (ThD, Toronto and Wycliffe College) is a professor of church history and biblical spirituality and director of the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Martin I. Klauber (PhD, Wisconsin) is an affiliate professor of church history at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

R. Jane McKee (PhD, Trinity College, Dublin) was a senior lecturer in French at the University of Ulster and the president of the Irish Section of the Huguenot Society of Great Britain and Ireland.

W. Gregory Monahan (PhD, West Virginia) is professor emeritus of history at Eastern Oregon University in La Grande, Oregon.

Richard A. Muller (PhD, Duke) is the P. J. Zondervan Professor of Historical Theology (emeritus) at Calvin Theological Seminary.

Jeannine Olson (PhD, Stanford) is a professor of history at Rhode Island College.

John B. Roney (PhD, Toronto) is a professor of history at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut.

Otto H. Selles (PhD, Paris) is a professor of French at Calvin University.

Brian E. Strayer (PhD, Iowa) is professor emeritus of history at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan.


“This careful examination of the theology of the Huguenot diaspora addresses timely and timeless issues surrounding religious refugees. Professor Klauber has assembled an impressive group of international scholars. He has, in addition, superbly orchestrated their findings on a significant yet relatively neglected subject. As Huguenot pastors sought safety abroad following the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, what were the theological views associated with their exilic experience? The early chapters explore the historical contours and consequences of the crown’s proscription of Protestantism. A second clutch of essays offers fresh appreciation of more than a half dozen refugee pastors and their theological elaborations. The resulting insights are at once captivating and illuminating.” — Raymond A. Mentzer, Daniel J. Krumm Family Chair in Reformation Studies, University of Iowa

“These essays march the reader adeptly through a little-known period of great upheaval for the French Reformed believers. The ‘church in the desert’ of the late-seventeenth and the eighteenth centuries in France suffered dragoons, death, and a dearth of leaders, but responded with prophesying, apocalyptic preaching, and apologetical treatises. The authors provide abundant primary source analysis to show how the persecuted French survived with Scripture as their source of comfort and instruction.” — Theodore G. Van Raalte, author of Antoine de Chandieu: The Silver Horn of Geneva's Reformed Triumvirate