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Church and Society in Eighteenth-Century France Volume 2: The Religion of the People and the Politics of Religion$
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John McManners

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198270041

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198270046.001.0001

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Lutherans and Jews: Routine Intolerance

Lutherans and Jews: Routine Intolerance

(p.626) 46 Lutherans and Jews: Routine Intolerance
Church and Society in Eighteenth-Century France Volume 2: The Religion of the People and the Politics of Religion

John McManners

Oxford University Press

The Lutherans of Alsace lived under a special regime guaranteeing their rights imposed when the province was incorporated into France in 1660–61. Louis XIV had nevertheless pursued a policy of conversion through inducements and penalization, and his regulations remained in force after his death, though the will for concerted enforcement died away. The real damage to Lutheranism in Alsace was done by a continuing ban on the immigration of non‐Catholics to the province. The Sephardic Jews of the Bordeaux area were well on their way to acceptance in local society and looked upon kindly by the government, but the Ashkenazim of Alsace, mostly miserably poor, suffered from discriminatory legislation and rural anti‐Semitism. The Jews in the papal enclaves of Avignon and the Comtat Venaissin enjoyed the right to practice their religion but lived in a state of permanent inferiority. The case for religious toleration, including for the Jews, was made by Enlightenment thinkers and a small minority of churchmen and lawyers, but there is little evidence of public support for their emancipation.

Keywords:   Alsace, anti‐Semitism, Comtat Venaissin, Enlightenment, Jews, Lutherans, religious toleration

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