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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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From the Désert to the New Jerusalem

From the Désert to the New Jerusalem

(p.43) 2 From the Désert to the New Jerusalem
Enlightening Enthusiasm

Lionel Laborie

Manchester University Press

This chapter examines the formation, spread, social composition and inner workings of the French Prophets as a movement. Based on extensive prosopographical research, it argues that the Camisards did not appeal to isolated individuals, but rather to pre-existing networks of diplomats, merchants, lawyers, ministers, physicians and intellectuals. It demonstrates on this basis how the Camisards capitalised on a vibrant millenarian culture upon their arrival and that beliefs in prophecy and miracles survived among all levels of the social ladder well beyond 1700. This new insight into the religious landscape of early eighteenth-century England suggests that enthusiasm transcended religious and social boundaries and therefore that it ought to be distinguished from both radical dissent and what historians call ‘popular religion’.

Keywords:   Anglican Church, Dissent, Huguenots, Religious societies, Networks, Gender history, Ecumenism, Missionary works

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