The Emergence of Pastoral Authority in the French Reformed Church (c.1555-c.1572)


In The Emergence of Pastoral Authority in the French Reformed Church, c.1555-c.1572, Gianmarco Braghi offers a broad overview of the issues and ambiguities connected to the implementation of the authority of the first generation of Geneva-trained French Reformed pastors and of their implications for the character and identity of the early French Reformed movement at large, using them as a prism for historical analysis of the transition from loose evangelicalism to a nascent synodal-consistorial network of Reformed congregations scattered across the kingdom of France.

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Gianmarco Braghi, Ph.D. (1987) is an Alumnus of Trinity College Dublin. He is a member of the Fondazione per le scienze religiose (Bologna/Palermo) and Coordinator of the “Giuseppe Alberigo” European School for Advanced Religious Studies.
Editorial Note


1 Time of Harvest: Informal Instruments of Pastoral Authority and the La Vau Affair in Poitiers ­(c.1555–1557)
 1 Plural Influences on the French Reformation: Sebastian Castellio
 2 The Evangelical Congregation of Poitiers and the Impact of Reformed Preaching
 3 “Une zizanie mauvaise de discorde”: Jean Saint-Vertunien de La Vau
 4 “Ils sont condamnés par eux-mêmes”: Dealing with Dissent in an Early Reformed Congregation

2 “Ceux qui s’y trouverent, sçavent”: A Meeting of Pastors in Paris (May 1559)
 1 Prosecution of Heresy under the Reign of Henri II
 2 The ‘First National Synod’ of 1559: Between Legend and History
 3 Issues of Sources and the Anticipation of Reception

3 The ‘National Debut’ of the French Reformed Movement (c.1559–c.1561)
 1 When All Hope is Gone: The Guise Rule and the Search for an ‘Outer Haven’
 2 A Polyptych of Pamphlets: A Self-Confident and Assertive Rhetoric
 3 The Colloquy of Poissy: Adjusting the Rhetoric for the ‘National Debut’

4 The Institutional Turn: Negotiating the Limits of Pastoral Authority
 1 The Confession de foi’s Model of Pastoral Authority
 2 “On ne sçait pas celles qu’on doit adopter”: The Changing Forms and Limits of the Discipline ecclésiastique
 3 A Litmus Test: The Aftermath of the La Vau Affair
 4 An Appealing Preacher: Mathurin Sibelleau and the Congregation of Loudun
 5 Inner and Outer Threats to Pastoral Authority

5 The Multiple Battlefields of Pastoral Authority: Quarrelsome Pastors and Scandalous Books in Lower Languedoc (c.1561–1563)
 1 The Genevan System and French Reformed Practices of Book Censorship
 2 The Evangelical Conventicle of Nîmes Turns Reformed
 3 The Mauget-Mutonis Affair: The Teething Trouble of Pastoral Authority
 4 Deploying Women and the Laity for Polemical Purposes: The Declaration du mystere, ou secret de Dieu

6 The Jean Morély Affair (c.1562–c.1572): Church Polity, Ecclesiastical Discipline, and the Authority of Pastors
 1 The Early Career of an Itinerant Theologian
 2 “Redime me à calumniis hominum”: Criticisms of Pastoral Authority in the Traicté de la discipline et police chrestienne (1562)
 3 “Plus dangereux que les persecutions”: The Enduring Character of the Morély Affair

7 Questioning the Ministry of the Word of God: The ‘Double Conversion’ of a Reformed Pastor
 1 The Rise and Fall of an Outstanding Minister
 2 Conversion Narratives
 3 “Historien de la faute detestable que i’ay commise”: Redemption Narratives

All interested in the history of the early Reformation in France and in the sixteenth-century European Reformation at large.
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