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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses the institution of preachers such as it was established and shaped by the Waldensians, to understand better the real lives of these men devoted to the service of their community. It explores the barbes’ mission, which amounted to the one and only reason for their existence, representing the very heart of the community, which depended on them for their well being and survival. The chapter focuses on the organisation of the company, in other words the internal structure of the community of faithful dissenters. In the description of their community presented to the Reformers by the barbes Morel and Masson in 1530, there is no explicit mention made of a hierarchy among the barbes; on the other hand, when evoking the sums of money brought by the barbes to the annual synod, he does say they are “taken in by our leaders,” thus suggesting a collegial organisation.

Keywords: barbes mission; beginner’s classes; Company; faithful dissenters; Latin; Reformers; Waldensian community



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