Religion and the Churches
One does not think of the eighteenth century as an “age of faith.” Yet the century produced enough evangelicals, revivalists, and enthusiasts to escape the charge of religious stagnation. Such revivalist movements were found more frequently on the fringes than in the bosom of the established churches and their activities were greeted with skepticism and even alarm by clerical and secular authorities. In France, the convulsionaries of St. Medard threatened to drive Jansenism outside the bounds of orthodoxy in the 1730’s, while a millenarian Protestantism born in the hills of the Cévennes was suppressed by armed force. Less episodic, though scarcely less charged with emotional fervor, was a “religion of the heart” opposing the more formal theological and liturgical practices of the established churches.
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- 2.Quoted in Eugene C. Black, The Association (Cambridge, Mass., 1963), p. 155.Google Scholar