Lutherans and Jews: Routine Intolerance

John McManners

in Church and Society in Eighteenth-Century France Volume 2: The Religion of the People and the Politics of Religion

Published in print July 1999 | ISBN: 9780198270041
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600692 | DOI:

Series: Oxford History of the Christian Church

 Lutherans and Jews: Routine Intolerance

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The Lutherans of Alsace lived under a special regime guaranteeing their rights imposed when the province was incorporated into France in 1660–61. Louis XIV had nevertheless pursued a policy of conversion through inducements and penalization, and his regulations remained in force after his death, though the will for concerted enforcement died away. The real damage to Lutheranism in Alsace was done by a continuing ban on the immigration of non‐Catholics to the province. The Sephardic Jews of the Bordeaux area were well on their way to acceptance in local society and looked upon kindly by the government, but the Ashkenazim of Alsace, mostly miserably poor, suffered from discriminatory legislation and rural anti‐Semitism. The Jews in the papal enclaves of Avignon and the Comtat Venaissin enjoyed the right to practice their religion but lived in a state of permanent inferiority. The case for religious toleration, including for the Jews, was made by Enlightenment thinkers and a small minority of churchmen and lawyers, but there is little evidence of public support for their emancipation.

Keywords: Alsace; anti‐Semitism; Comtat Venaissin; Enlightenment; Jews; Lutherans; religious toleration

Chapter.  8085 words. 

Subjects: History of Christianity

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