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L'Angleterre et la France entre Rome et Genève? Une mise au point historiographique

Listed author(s):
  • Luc Racaut
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    [eng] The recent historiography of the Reformation, in England and in France, seems to favour the view that the silent majority was neither for Rome nor Geneva. This view makes nonsense of an earlier debate that hinged on the "success " or "failure " of the Reformation in any given country. A comparison between Anglicanism and Gallicanism, both national churches that strove to find a compromise between traditional religion and Protestantism seems therefore warranted. The French Crown was particularly envious of the apparent ability of the English monarchs to dictate the religion of their subjects. The specificity of Gallicanism, however, prevented any accommodation with Protestantism, in spite of the monarchy's best efforts. Neither Gallicanism nor Anglicanism was in fact between Rome and Geneva; both can conveniently be placed on opposite sides of the confessional divide. But it was politically expedient for the Crowns in France and in England to argue for a via media between Rome and Geneva, in order to reconcile subjects on opposite sides of the confessional divide. Rome, and particularly the Jesuits, served as a convenient other against whom French and English subjects could make common cause beyond confessional differences. Whether their subjects were indeed for Rome or Geneva, both the French and the English Crowns were successful in impressing upon them that they were French and English before being Catholic or Protestant. [fre] Des travaux récents sur la Réforme, en Angleterre et en France, semble suggérer que la grande majorité des croyants n'était ni pour Rome ni pour Genève. Ce point de vue remet en question un débat historique sur le «succès» ou «l'échec» de la Réforme dans un pays donné. La comparaison entre Anglicanisme et Gallicanisme, deux églises nationales qui cherchèrent un compromis entre la religion romaine et le Protestantisme, semble ici pertinente. En France, la Couronne était particulièrement envieuse de l'apparente facilité avec laquelle les monarques anglais semblaient dicter la religion de leurs sujets. La spécificité du Gallicanisme, cependant, interdisait tout accommodement avec le Protestantisme, malgré les efforts des Rois. En fin de compte ni le Gallicanisme ni l'Anglicanisme n'était «d'entre-deux» ; et tous deux peuvent être placés de part et d'autre du fossé confessionnel. Mais la couronne Française comme Anglaise cherchèrent toutes deux une via media entre Rome et Genève, de façon politique, afin de réconcilier leurs sujets Catholiques et Protestants. Rome, et plus particulièrement les Jésuites, servit de bouc émissaire contre qui les sujets Anglais et Français pouvaient s'unir, malgré les différences de religion. Que leurs sujets soient pour Rome ou Genève, les deux couronnes Anglaises et Françaises réussirent à les convaincre qu'ils étaient français et anglais, avant d'être Catholiques ou Protestants.

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    Article provided by Programme National Persée in its journal Histoire, économie et société.

    Volume (Year): 24 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 163-170

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    Handle: RePEc:prs:hiseco:hes_0752-5702_2005_num_24_2_2542
    Note: DOI:10.3406/hes.2005.2542
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