The Challenge

Long before I completed my PhD, I had already set myself a new challenge, one that I knew for sure had never been attempted by another historian: to recreate the full, international network of the French Prophets and reassess the spiritual legacy of the last French war of religion. It is often assumed that the … More The Challenge

Büdingen, Germany

I visited Büdingen on my way to Frankfurt a few months ago. From the early stages of my project, I had had plans to explore the Wetterau, a very beautiful region apparently unbeknownst to many Germans today. Büdingen and its surroundings became an important refuge for religious minorities in the eighteenth century, after Count Ernst Casimir of Ysenburg-Büdingen … More Büdingen, Germany

WANTED! Hélène du Moulin, aka Mme Jurieu

My post in this Women’s History Month is dedicated to Hélène du Moulin (1644-1720), the wife of the Huguenot minister Pierre Jurieu (1637-1713), one of the most prominent and controversial theologians in early modern history. Hélène is an elusive figure who lived among some of the greatest minds of her generation. She has been haunting my imagination ever since I began working on … More WANTED! Hélène du Moulin, aka Mme Jurieu

Geneva, Switzerland

Of all the libraries and archives I have visited since I began my research on the Camisard Prophets, Geneva is without a doubt the place I consider as the starting point of my quest. I first came to Geneva in 2007 during my PhD and have returned with great pleasure several times since then. The city is … More Geneva, Switzerland

Dorothy Harling: The Piss Prophetess

History is full of obscure figures and fun facts. Sadly, they tend to be disregarded to the benefit of more ‘serious’ material, even though they are equally part of history and should not be ignored for that reason. Dissenters, underground networks, secret societies and utopian experiments offer a wealth of such stories and a different insight into the early … More Dorothy Harling: The Piss Prophetess

Halle (Saale), Germany – Part III

Together with the iconic orphanage, one of the most important buildings in the Francke Foundations is without a doubt the historical library. Located in Haus 22, the library was founded in 1728 and remains today an invaluable resource for Pietist studies. Figures speak for themselves: the main collection and the special collections respectively consists of 57,000 and 70,000 volumes, and the … More Halle (Saale), Germany – Part III

Halle (Saale), Germany – Part II

The Francke Foundations or Franckesche Stiftungen were established by the Pietist theologian August Hermann Francke in 1698 in Glaucha, a small parish outside of Halle, thanks to the support of the Elector of Brandenburg Friedrich III. After being successively banned from Leipzig and Erfurt in the late 1680s for promoting Pietist ideas, Francke had found employment in 1691 as both a … More Halle (Saale), Germany – Part II