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La redistribution du pouvoir entre Églises et États : un débat en Rhénanie au lendemain de la Saint-Barthélemy

Abstract : We will attempt to piece together in this paper the components of the debate of three political theorists about the problem of authority within the simultaneously expansive and repressed protestant movement in about 1570. The protagonists were members of a politically-minded calvinist intellectual elite, at the time established in Rhineland, within the still persecution-proof pocket of toleration between Basel and Strasbourg. The first participant in the debate was Lazare de Schwendi (1522-1583), a former general and councillor to four Austrian emperors, exiled on his Alsatian estates after his conversion to Helvetian protestantism ; the next protagonist in the debate was Thomas Erast (1524-1583), a physician from Aargau and a renowned humanist, one of the founders of the Palatine reformed church and university, exiled in Heidelberg because of the Lutheran reaction at the Elector's court ; the third protagonist was François Hotman (1524-1590), Mr de Schwendi's stern melancholy guest, who had also retired to Basel after the Saint-Bartholomew's Day Massacre in France and was a prominent forerunner of the constitutionalist doctrine inspired by protestantism. The three men, bearing the stamp of an eventful phase in European history, were pondering upon the gravitation of power between the temporal and the spiritual pole. The aim of the three protestant thinkers was to find a new balance between churches and states, following the upheavals of the Reformation period. The results of their debates influenced the development of political theory in Europe.
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Thomas Nicklas. La redistribution du pouvoir entre Églises et États : un débat en Rhénanie au lendemain de la Saint-Barthélemy. Anglophonia / Caliban - French Journal of English Linguistics, Presses universitaires du Midi, 2005, 17 (1), pp.87-96. ⟨10.3406/calib.2005.1535⟩. ⟨hal-03716366⟩



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