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The Identity Of A Religious Minority: Innovation And Integration In French Protestantism

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Chapter Summary

The future of the Protestant minority in France has been considered optimistically or pessimistically at different times. The Protestant minority had twofold problems to contend with, related first to the rejection of the Reformation and subsequently to the development of modernity in France. As a religious minority in a predominantly Roman Catholic society, Protestantism has suffered from being considered a deviant religion. The problem of French Protestantism is defined with regard to a dominant, pervasive and hostile religious majority. Protestantism was closely allied with the forces of progress and Republicanism. Integration led to an imperceptible, but real, loss of identity for Protestantism as it strove to affirm its Christian identity. The ecumenical movement was a real danger for the existence of French Protestantism. Protestants in France had been in the vanguard of innovation and progress, but their integration in the resultant society threatened the existence they had fought to preserve.

Keywords: French Protestantism; identity; innovation; integration; Reformation; Religious Minority; Republicanism; Roman Catholic



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