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30 | 2023 – Controversy for everyone ?

Marginal forms and methods of confrontation between Catholics and Reformed (France, 1598-1685)

The controversy between Catholics and Reformed in France under the Edict of Nantes (1598-1685) is well known, but only partially known. In fact, alongside famous confrontations, studied by researchers and perfectly documented by archives and publications, featuring prestigious theologians on both sides, other disputes have remained more confidential, even though their literary or social importance may have been decisive for a large number of the lay people. These were « popularised » controversies, but sometimes of a low intellectual level, precisely in order to be within the reach of the greatest number of people, and with intense methodological reflection on the best way to defeat the adversary and allow everyone to understand this victory.

These controversies have remained relatively marginal, and it’s therefore a question here of launching research tracks in this dossier, the aim of which is thus to focus attention for once on the social and literary forms that a controversy can take, often disregarded because it’s not prestigious enough (including for the credit and reputation of its participants), or else too local, too vehement, too sensitive to the use of insults, too accessible to all (which is in itself a subject of controversy).

The dossier will include four articles with literary issues, and four with social issues.

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