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The Calvinist and the Chancellor: The Mental World of Louis Turquet de Mayerne

Mark Greengrass

Greengrass, Mark, "The Calvinist and the Chancellor: The Mental World of Louis Turquet de Mayerne", dans Francia, 34/2, 2007, p. 1-23.

Extrait de l’article

Heinz Schilling has taught us to think about Calvinist »civic republicanism«. In his notable work on Emden in the later reformation, the Emden of Althusius, he found a »städtischen Republikanismus«. It was not, perhaps, the conscious republicanism of Venice or the Renaissance Florentine republic, the kind that would be later refashioned into a building-block for states where limited government and civic freedom were important nostrums. But it could draw on that respectable tradition and fashion it into a more homely pride in local self-government and respect for politically active and responsible citizens, and it became an important constituent element in the Emden alliance of its Reformed church, ministers and elders in their opposition to princely rule. Yet there was nothing automatic or intrinsic in this connection between Calvinism and civic republicanism. There was no immanent Troeltschian »ethos of liberty« within Calvinism as a whole. The coalescence was rather the consequence of an accidental political constellation, the result of a particular place, faced with the need to justify a particular resistance. Calvinist political thought, like its religious thought, was as haunted by notions of obedience as it was inflected with a respect for the human conscience and its awakening to the hearing and doing of God’s word.

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