Essays on Pierre Bayle and Religious Controversy

  • Authors
  • Walter Rex

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XV
  2. The Theological Traditions of the Pensées Diverses Sur La Comète (1682)

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Walter Rex
      Pages 3-29
    3. Walter Rex
      Pages 30-74
  3. Sources of the Commentaire Philosophique (1686)

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 75-75
    2. Walter Rex
      Pages 77-120
  4. The Theological and Political Crisis of the Hugenots in Exile

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 195-195
    2. Walter Rex
      Pages 197-255
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 256-271

About this book


The solitary and erudite figure of Pierre Bayle occupies a position of particular interest in French letters; we are pleased to recognize in his thought the germ of the ideas which reached their fulfillment in the eighteenth century. His own age does not seem to have been quite ready to receive him. Forced into exile by the Catholics, he was censured and harassed by the Protestants in Holland. It is to be expected that his outspoken enemies would have declared him a danger to religion and morality; yet to his more moderate contemporaries, too, he was sometimes a "problem," and one senses an occasional reserve toward him even in his remaining friends. As for the general public, the Nouvelles de la Republique des lettres may indeed have received the "universal applause" Des Maizeaux said it had, yet there was voluminous criticism also. His marvelous Dictionary, which probably achieved the widest circulation of any of his works during his lifetime, also elicited the most attack, censure and discontent. Moreover, though Bayle had earned fame, he did not have in the eyes of his contemporaries­ particularly of those in France - the importance which he has for us today. Other figures seemed still grander than he in the closing decades of the seventeenth century: in philosophy and metaphysics, the e­ normous system of Malebranche, the last significant attempt in France to establish a synthesis of Christianity and reason, attracted far more admiration, or criticism, than Bayle.


Pierre Bayle antiquity calvinist rationalism huguenot rationalism

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1965
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-94-010-3563-7
  • Online ISBN 978-94-010-3561-3
  • Series Print ISSN 0066-6610
  • Buy this book on publisher's site