Religious Coexistence in Early Modern France (Book Project for Academic Press)

Lay Summary 


This project is a long-term, in-depth investigation of Protestant-Catholic relations and the potential for compromise (or accommodation) between members of the two denominations during the French Wars of Religion. It spans the time period between the early 1560s to 1640 and is focused on the provincial town of Loudun after a long period of religious conflict.

Research methods for this project involve detailed studies of parish register and notarial records and other archival investigations. I collected information from these archival finds throughout Europe and Canada, compiling and analysing the material using database technology to better understand family networks and behaviours during this time period. For example, marriage contracts, estate settlements, commercial contracts and records of baptisms, marriages, and burial all provide critical details about Loudun’s families: their denomination, their socio-economic position, and their relations with members of their own religious community and those of the opposite faith.  Analysis of these documents has revealed that there were instances of accommodation between members of the two faiths during this time and that economic necessity was often a driver for compromise.

 With several articles and conference papers presenting the various stages of this project already published, a full-length book manuscript covering Protestant-Catholic relations in Loudun is currently in process.

Other projects related to this research include the study of an anonymous Protestant refugee author who took refuge in Amsterdam.  There, he published a book in defense of a Catholic priest whose trial in Loudun for witchcraft contributed to the demise of the witch hunts in France.

This is related to further investigation into the Protestant refugee experience in Amsterdam, a city that became a safe haven for many religious minorities, including those suffering Catholic persecution in France. This study will be published in a forthcoming festschrift for a senior professor in the field of the history of French Protestantism.

Select Publications Include:

“Where Two Crosses Met: Religious Accommodation between a Reformed Protestant Community and a Commandery of the Order of Malta (Loudun, ca. 1560-1660)." Church History 81, issue 4 (December 2012): 815-851.

"The Protestants of Loudun: The Fragile Existence of a Religious Minority in Seventeenth-Century France (1598-1685)."  Social History/Histoire Sociale 46, no. 91 (mai-May 2013): 1-41.

« ‘La foi sans les œuvres est morte’: Les protestants de Loudun et la pratique de la charité (1589-1685).» Céline Borello, éd.  Les oeuvres protestantes en Europe.  Rennes: Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2013.  133-147.

“The Consistory of Loudun, 1589-1602: Seeking an Equilibrium between Utility, Compassion, and Social Discipline in Uncertain Times.” Raymond Mentzer Philippe Chareyre and Françoise Moreil, eds. Dire l’interdit: The Vocabulary of Censure and Exclusion in the Early Modern Reformed Tradition.  Leiden: Brill, 2010.  239-271.

 «La mort, l’au-delà et les relations confessionnelles: Les testaments et leurs testateurs dans la ville de Loudun, 1598-1685».  Didier Boisson et Yves Krumenacker, éds.  La Coexistence confessionnelle à l’épreuve: études sur les relations entre Protestants et Catholics dans la France moderne.  Lyon: L’équipe Religions, Sociétés et Acculturation (RESEA) du Laboratoire de Recherche Historique Rhône-Alpes (LARHRA, UMR 5190), 2009. 151-168.

“Caught between King, Religion, and Social Ambition: Marc-Antoine Marreau de Boisguérin and His Family (ca. 1560-1680).”The Sixteenth Century Journal 29, no. 2 (Summer, 2008): 331-356.
“The Jesuits and the Application of the Edict of Nantes: the Priory of Notre-Dame-du-Château, Loudun, 1568-1640.” Proceedings of the Western Society for French History: Selected Papers 28 (2000): 146-156.
“Charity and Confessional Difference in Seventeenth-Century France: The Maison de Charité of Loudun, 1648-1685.” Confraternitas (Society for Confraternity Studies) 11 no. 2 (Fall, 2000): 3-26.

Memorial University Of Newfoundland
Corner Brook
Newfoundland and Labrador
Religion and Religious Studies
Industry Sectors 
Other Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
Start date 
1 Jan 2000