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Journal > Volumes > 39 (2008) / 1 (Spring)
A Hotter Sort of Protestantism? Comparisons between French and Scottish Calvinisms
David George Mullan
Cape Breton University

This essay explores the nature of Huguenot piety in the seventeenth century by making some comparisons with Scottish religious works. Élisabeth Labrousse comments that French Calvinists were unlike their English-speaking counterparts, especially with respect to conversion, which in Scotland and England drew deeply from the wells of human emotion. Because of the close contacts between France and Scotland, from long before the Reformation and thereafter embracing Calvinist divines, it is appropriate to make some comparisons between the two religious cultures. This article includes a description of those contacts, a review of the religious narratives produced by the two communities, and a consideration of issues including providence, religious anxiety and the role of “melancholy,” and the use of the Bible, particularly the Psalms and the Song of Solomon. What emerges is a complex picture, though there is reason to believe that the differences between the two Calvinist cultures were not so great as has been suggested hitherto.

Pages: 45 - 69