The Colloquy of Montbeliard: Religion and Politics in the Sixteenth Century

By Jill P. Raitt | Go to book overview

1
Ancient Liberties and Evangelical Reform

To ordinary folk it might have seemed hardly credible that the baron de Clervant was in Stuttgart, sent by Henry of Navarre expressly to issue an invitation to a theological colloquy to the influential Lutheran rector of the University of Tübingen, Jacob Andreae, one of the two primary authors of the Book of Concord. But to international political insiders, it was not so unusual. Just before his arrival in Stuttgart, Clervant's presence in Strasbourg and his plan to travel to Stuttgart had been duly reported by Lobetius, a spy in the pay of Elizabeth of England, to Francis Walsingham, Elizabeth's secretary of state, At the same time, Henry of Navarre had himself written to Theodore Beza in Geneva, asking him to undertake a task of importance to all of Christendom, a letter confirmed by Count Frederick's invitation to Beza to participate in the colloquy. Why, in short, should a theological debate in the small county of Montbéliard involve the intervention of Henry, future king of France, and the anxious gaze of the virgin queen?

Why was the Colloquy of Montbéliard convoked and by whom? The answer to the second question appears to be quite simple, since a record of the invitation to Theodore Beza can be found in the Registers 1 of the Company of Pastors of Geneva. Another reference occurs in the publication by Jacob Andreae of the Acta2 of the colloquy. Andreae claimed that he was invited by the baron de Clervant, who came to Stuttgart expressly to issue the invitation to the colloquy. At this point, the story becomes more complex than just another colloquy to settle a theological debate. It is even more complex than the need of the people of Montbéliard and their count, Frederick, to end an ecclesiastical struggle between the Lutheran duchy of Württemberg and the Reformed community of Montbéliard. In fact, these seemingly simple invitations conceal a complex political background of international proportions.

The baron de Clervant was a counselor to Henry, king of Navarre, leader of the French Huguenots in the long French wars of religion and the future Henry IV of France. 3 It was as Henry's delegate to the German princes and the Swiss cantons that the baron de Clervant visited Württemberg in January and Montbéliard in February of 1586. 4 Clervant's visit to Andreae was, how-

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The Colloquy of Montbeliard: Religion and Politics in the Sixteenth Century
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgments v
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Abbreviations xiii
  • Introduction 3
  • Notes 10
  • 1 - Ancient Liberties and Evangelical Reform 11
  • Notes 32
  • 2 - The Political Background 45
  • Notes 60
  • 3 - The Lord's Supper 73
  • Notes 100
  • 4 - The Person of Christ 110
  • Notes 126
  • 5 - Images, Baptism, and Predestination 134
  • 6 - Aftermath (1): Polemics and Politics 160
  • Notes 176
  • 7 - Aftermath (2): The Larger Scene 187
  • Notes 192
  • Appendix 1 Appendix: in Which Is Taught, What Was Done, Regarding the Communication and Protest of the French Exiles After the Colloquy of Montbéliard 197
  • Notes 201
  • Appendix 2 - Instrument 203
  • Appendix 3 207
  • Note 210
  • Bibliography of Works Cited 211
  • Index 221
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