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When The Waldensians Spoke Of The Barbes

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the issue of the Waldensian “synagogues” to suggest a reading that might steer clear of both ignorance, by definition, and disgrace, for it neither history nor the historian’s task to pass judgement. It reviews how the Waldensians spoke of what the barbes had taught them. The chapter also explains how barbes' teaching fared in practice, or, to put it differently, how the Waldensians applied what they had been taught in their everyday lives. It is strikingly clear that in such conditions, the barbes really constituted the framework of the community and the followers took it to heart to look after them and protect them; only their courageous, effective support can account for the longevity of the Waldensian dissent of which the barbes were not only the symbol but the very condition of its unity and permanence.

Keywords: barbes; flocks; follower impression; synagogues; Waldensians



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