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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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Enthusiasm, blasphemy and toleration

Enthusiasm, blasphemy and toleration

(p.166) 5 Enthusiasm, blasphemy and toleration
Enlightening Enthusiasm

Lionel Laborie

Manchester University Press

Chapter 5 discusses the trial of the Camisard prophet Elie Marion in 1707 in light of contemporary cases of blasphemy and sedition to consider how enthusiasm challenged the limits of religious tolerance in eighteenth-century England. If Trinitarian Protestants could no longer be prosecuted after the Toleration Act in 1689, how should enthusiasts be dealt with? This chapter not only argues that enthusiasm was no longer perceived as a threat to the state, but also that national identity played a significant part in the Camisard’s trial. It was in fact Huguenot refugees aspiring to be naturalised at a time when Britishness was being defined who brought the Camisards to court as proof of their allegiance to the Crown. Despite its lenient sentence, this trial became one of the most important cases of the eighteenth century.

Keywords:   Toleration, Blasphemy, Dissent, Huguenots, Britishness, Denizenship, Party politics

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