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Enlightening EnthusiasmProphecy and religious experience in early eighteenth-century England$
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Lionel Laborie

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780719089886

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719089886.001.0001

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The origins of the French Prophets

The origins of the French Prophets

(p.16) 1 The origins of the French Prophets
Enlightening Enthusiasm

Lionel Laborie

Manchester University Press

Chapter 1 traces the footsteps of the French Prophets from their origins in the Cévennes mountains in Languedoc to their arrival in London in the summer 1706. It identities the Camisards as a poorer Huguenot subculture animated by millenarian beliefs in prophecy and martyrdom. Unlike mainstream Huguenots, who abjured or fled in exile at the revocation of the Edict of Nantes (1685), the Camisards took up arms against their Catholic persecutors in 1702 and thus fought the last French war of religion under the alleged guidance of the Holy Spirit. While their rebellion had been largely crushed by 1705, three Camisards found refuge in England, where they soon started a new millenarian movement: ‘the French Prophets’.

Keywords:   Huguenots, Camisards, Cévennes, Languedoc, Wars of religion, Louis XIV, Religious toleration, Spirit possession, Charismatic religion

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