Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Protestantism, Poetry and Protest: The Vernacular Writings of Antoine De Chandieu (C. 1534-1591)

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Protestantism, Poetry and Protest: The Vernacular Writings of Antoine De Chandieu (C. 1534-1591)

Article excerpt

Protestantism, Poetry and Protest: The Vernacular Writings of Antoine de Chandieu (c. 1534-1591). By S. K. Barker. [St.Andrews Studies in Reformation History.] (Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing. 2009. Pp. xiv, 336. $114.95. ISBN 978-0-754-66491-8.)

Antoine de Chandieu's career as Protestant minister and writer spanned the whole period of the French civil wars: He became one pastor of the Paris Church in 1 556 or 1 557; was closely involved in the first National Synod of the Reformed Church (Paris, 1559); and played a role in the adoption of the founding documents of the new structure, the Confession de foi and the Discipline. He was also suspected of involvement in the Conspiration d'Amboise (March 1560). During the early days of the civil war he wrote some of the most eloquent rebuttals of Pierre de Ronsard's Discours des misères de ce temps (1562) and most likely a Tragi-comédie (published in 1561) on the theme of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace. During the civil wars in the 1 560s he composed a martyrology of the Paris Church to encourage the faithful and was closely concerned with the controversy concerning Church organization provoked by Jean Morély's Traicté de la discipline et police Chrestienne (1562), which threatened the cohesion of the nascent Reformed Church at a moment when it most needed unity and single-mindedness. After years of an itinerant ministry in France, Chandieu moved to Lausanne, then to Geneva, in 1568. Thereafter he divided his time among various missions in France and posts in Lausanne and Geneva. He composed his beautifully devotional "masterpiece," Octonaires sur la vanité et inconstance du monde (1583). He also became involved in theological polemics against Catholic, notably Jesuit, writers as exemplified by his widely successful Response à la Profession de foy publiée contre ceux de l'Eglise Reformée (1 586).

Thus Chandieu was an active participant throughout a particularly fraught period in the life of the Reformed Churches in France. The author makes a solid case for perceiving Chandieu as symbolizing the experiences of the French Protestant movement as a whole in this period. The author brings out clearly the evolving situation in which Chandieu operated- from the heady optimism of the 15 50s, when it seemed that Reformed Christianity was about to carry all before it; through the persecutions and suffering of the 1 56Os, reaching a nadir in the St. …

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