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That Men Would Praise the Lord

Allan Tulchin

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780199736522
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199866229 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199736522.001.0001
That Men Would Praise the Lord

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This book breaks apart the process of mass conversion in the sixteenth century to explain why the Reformation occurred, using Nîmes, the most Protestant town in France, as a case study. Beginning in 1559, townspeople flocked to hear Protestant preachers and then took over Catholic churches, destroyed statues and stained glass, and zealously took part in the Wars of Religion, which convulsed France beginning in 1562. As the Protestant movement grew, it had to adapt to changing circumstances. Nîmes’s first Protestants were attracted to Calvin ’s theology of the Eucharist; later converts believed that the church needed to be cleansed of its excesses to encourage moral reform of the crown; and in the end, many converted due to peer pressure or under duress. The book ends by examining the Michelade, one of two bloody massacres of Nîmes’s remaining Catholics. The result is a new theory of the Reformation, which explains how previous theories, thought to be incompatible, in fact fit together. In order to prove his thesis, a database of all surviving wills and marriage contracts for the period. Church, court, city council, and tax records were also consulted. The book thus marries quantitative techniques from the social sciences and anthropology to cultural history in a dramatic analytic narrative.

Keywords: reformation; Nîmes; wars of religion; Calvin; Michelade; database; quantitative techniques; cultural history

Book.  304 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Christianity

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Table of Contents

Nîmes in That Men Would Praise the Lord

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The Creation of a Protestant Community in That Men Would Praise the Lord

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Growth and Crisis in That Men Would Praise the Lord

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The Religious Crisis Begins, 1559–1560 in That Men Would Praise the Lord

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The <i>Cahier de Doléances</i>, 1561 in That Men Would Praise the Lord

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Rising and Falling in That Men Would Praise the Lord

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Conclusion in That Men Would Praise the Lord

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