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10/14/2021

French report: 330,000 children victims of church sex abuse

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Victims of abuse within France’s Catholic Church welcomed a historic turning point on Tuesday, 5th of October 2021 after a new report  ("Rapport Sauvé") estimated that 330,000 children in France were sexually abused over the past 70 years, providing the country’s first accounting of the worldwide phenomenon. The figure includes abuses committed by some 3,000 priests

To be continued (Religion News Service Website)

French report: 330,000 children victims of church sex abuse

main-v00-12-1536x1024-1.jpg

Victims of abuse within France’s Catholic Church welcomed a historic turning point on Tuesday, 5th of October 2021 after a new report  ("Rapport Sauvé") estimated that 330,000 children in France were sexually abused over the past 70 years, providing the country’s first accounting of the worldwide phenomenon. The figure includes abuses committed by some 3,000 priests

To be continued (Religion News Service Website)

09/30/2021

British Protestant Missions, Europe and "imaginary colonialism"

Capture d’écran 2021-09-30 à 18.35.17.png"This (excellent!) 2021 book is the first account of British Protestant conversion initiatives directed towards continental Europe between 1600 and 1900.

Continental Europe was considered a missionary land—another periphery of the world, whose centre was imperial Britain. British missions to Europe were informed by religious experiments in America, Africa, and Asia, rendering these offensives against Europe a true form of "imaginary colonialism".

British Protestant missionaries often understood themselves to be at the forefront of a civilising project directed at Catholics (and sometimes even at other Protestants). Their mission was further reinforced by Britain becoming a land of compassionate refuge for European dissenters and exiles. This book engages with the myth of International Protestantism, questioning its early origins and its narrative of transnational belonging, while also interrogating Britain as an imagined Protestant land of hope and glory."

Link.

08/26/2021

Why the world is becoming more French

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From industrial policy and nuclear power to "strategic autonomy" and the 35-hour week, the 2020s are popularising many French instincts about world affairs and the state.

Thank you Jeremy Cliffe for this stimulating analysis (NewStatesman)

07/29/2021

French Secularism in Crisis ?

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François-Marie Arouet (Voltaire), buried in the Paris Pantheon, remarked: “God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.” Voltaire, invoking his chronic sense of absurdity, would be smirking at the new social harmony in France as hardcore French secularists and Muslim women in public places conceal their faces (noses, mouths, and eyes) to protect themselves from Covid-19.

Thnak you L. Ali Khan for this interesting piece boosting debate. Link

07/15/2021

French mainstream press covering a Hollywood pacifist war drama

310d267865219def0320d11726973a68--garfield-pictures-hawksaw-ridge.jpgThis article outlines and discusses two aspects of the French mediatization of Tu ne tueras point (Hacksaw Ridge) film: the relationship between media, normative secularism and religion in the context of the hegemony of mediatization as ‘media and communication-centered’ phenomenon.

Based on the content analysis and discursive strategies of the biographical war drama chronicles, the contribution points out less developed empirical aspects in France regarding the relation between religion and media:

(a) the media discourse is dependent on a normative narrative of secularism,

(b) the media discourse represents and expresses a confusion between the sacred, religion and faith, deliberately created and maintained by the journalists, and (c) the media discourse is based on a conception of violence with modern origins.

Link

04/08/2021

French Secularism Isn’t Illiberal

great-mosque-paris.jpegThanks to @ForeignPolicy, here is a slightly more nuanced & balanced piece than what we've read recently on the notion of #Laicite (secularism) in #France.
This text has been written by Nicolas Cadène, a high skilled French official in charge ot the main French official structure designed to regulate secularism, "laïcité", French way.
 
 

03/25/2021

Urban Secularism Negotiating Religious Diversity in Europe

df.jpegWhile French laïcité is often considered something fixed, its daily deployment is rather messy. What might we learn if we study the governance of religion from a dynamic bottom-up perspective? Using an ethnographic approach, this book examines everyday secularism in the making. How do city actors understand, frame and govern religious diversity? Which local factors play a role in those processes? In Urban Secularism: Negotiating Religious Diversity in Europe, Julia Martínez-Ariño brings the reader closer to the entrails of laïcité. She provides detailed accounts of the ways religious groups, city officials, municipal employees, secularist actors and other civil-society organisations negotiate concrete public expressions of religion.

To read more, and order Dr. Julia Martinez-Arino's book, click here (link)

03/18/2021

France: at least flowers are not locked down

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Visiting the French Protestant Historical Society (SHPF), rue des Saints Pères, Paris, on the day French Prime Minister announced a third lock-down.

03/11/2021

France: christians unite against increased State control

Yes.jpgMajor representatives of the three branches of French Christianity, Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox speak out in a column published in the daily Le Figaro yesterday.

They warn about the current "separatism bill" and the threat of an increased State control over churches and religions.

For them, freedom is at stake.

Link.

03/04/2021

Material Religion in France – a Short Genealogy

anouk cohen, cyril ismart, france, material religionIf the growing English-speaking litterature that has arisen in the recend decades aims at "materializing" or more precisely "re-materializing" the study of religious facts, in France, the dynamism of this approach has been remarkable through numerous publications over the past five years.

To know more, click here (link).

02/25/2021

Understanding 'laïcité', France's special brand of state secularism

Jean-Louis Bianco, Laicité, France

France's particular brand of secularism, known as "laïcité", is considered a backbone of the French Republic. And yet this separation of church and state is a touchy subject and often misunderstood. Its backers say it's the glue that lets the French live together in harmony despite their differences, but critics say it's anti-religious and increasingly used to stigmatise Muslims. So what exactly is "laïcité" and is it compatible with a modern multicultural society? Florence Villeminot and Genie Godula take a closer look in this episode of French Connections Plus. 

LINK TO THE VIDEO (FRANCE 24)

02/11/2021

A major book about the main French reformed church (ERF)

PkrMS01b-1.pngThis is the first work devoted to the history of the Reformed Church of France, from its rebirth in the 20th century on the ashes of the Concordant Church to the union between the Reformed and Lutherans in 2013.

This Reformed Church embodies a particular presence in the world, carried by a strong identity.

A must-read book édited by a prestigious publishing house, which hopefully may be translated in English, at least partially ! Congrats to the authors.

Link

01/28/2021

Law against "separatism": French freedoms at stake

Emmanuel-Macron-prononce-discours-separatismes-Mureaux-2-octobre-2020_0.jpgThe French national motto is Freedom, Equality, Fraternity.

Will the current French government remember its first word, "Freedom"?

As it is heading toward a new law targeting "separatism", concerns rise.

Lire la suite

01/14/2021

French Baptist Bicentenary

france,evangelicals,baptist churches,protestantism, sebastien fathDid you know that there were Baptist churches in France before Baptist churches started in Texas ?

Baptist beginnings trace back to 1820, with several Believer's baptisms in Nomain (North of France). One year after (1821), the first French Baptist congregation started in Aix, a very small village near Nomain.

Due to the current pandemia, French Baptists could not really mark this 200th Anniversary properly. However, this French Baptist bicentenary remains a significant step towards a more diverse French religious landscape.

As I did study this particular French Baptist history for my Ph.D (defended in Sorbonne EPHE in 1998), I've decided to review (and improve) an old Powerpoint presentation which explains the four steps of French Baptist implantation, from 1800s to 1950s.

Although this presentation is in french, the many pictures and sources may be of some interest to English-speaking lovers of Protestant History.

Link to download (the PDF file is BIG)

12/17/2020

French Evangelicals celebrate 10 years of CNEF

CNEF, Evangelicals, Protestantism, FranceDo you know the CNEF ? In French, it is Conseil National des Evangéliques de France (National Council of French Evangelicals).

Created 10 years ago after merging previous French Evangelical networks, this body represents at least 60% of the One Million French Evangelicals. It just celebrated its 10th Anniversary last tuesday.

From all France, more than 500 connected and registered. The French Interior Minister, Mr Gerald Darmanin, whished a "happy birthday" to all, through a taped video message.  

 

Lire la suite

12/10/2020

THe French weekly Réforme has got a new director

Sébastien Fath, Michael Langlois, ProtestantismeFounded in 1945, Réforme is the main French protestant weekly.

Notoriously very close to the French Presbyterian identity, rooted in the Huguenot past, Réforme has regularly struggled to widen its horizon.

Widen, enlarge, why ?

Why ? Because a weekly without new readers has no much future.

Réforme's main concern is the medium age of its readers: close to the retirement age-limit.

How to attract the new generations, which are impacted by Evangelicalism, but also Ecumenism and Secularism?

Nathalie Leenhardt, the former Réforme's director, did a great job maintaining Réforme's quality offer over the last years, which have been so challenging.

Lire la suite

12/03/2020

France and Covid19: fair treatment obtained for religions

france, state council, jean castex, french religions, freedom of worshipThe new suitable gauge for worship services (read blognote of last week) was unveiled yesterday (wednesday 2th of Dec, 2020) by the French Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin. Based upon simple common sense, the new measures take into account the size of religious worship places.

This gauge was settled after consultation with the various French religious representatives, in order to put settle things in a fair and right way.

Lire la suite

11/26/2020

Covid19 in France: is "freedom of religion held hostage"?

Castex.jpgAmong French religious circles, many are currently debating about the way Jean Castex (French Prime Minister) and his government are dealing with Covid-19 restrictions. According to President Emmanuel Macron's last announcements, France will begin to ease its strict coronavirus restrictions this weekend, allowing "non-essential shops" to reopen.

French Supermarkets are already widely open, with no resctriction except respecting the mandatory safety precautions. French TGV and trains are also packed with people who share up to 4-5 hours together in a confined environment.

 

Lire la suite

11/19/2020

Diffamation and reply : French pastor Samuel Peterschmitt strikes back

déf.jpg50 years ago, French Evangelicals were still shy sideliners. Today, as they reach 1 million of believers, it is not the case anymore. They have somehow become "mainline", not within French global socieyty, but at least within French protestantism.

An example among many is the open way French world champion Olivier Giroud (who already scored 44 goals for the French football national team) speaks about his Evangelical faith in many mainstream media.

This new visibility of French Evangelicals explains also why they do not hesitate to engage in public debate when they feel wrongly accused. A recent example can be found with Pastor Samuel Peterschmitt, leader of one of the 6 megachurches of continental France (the "Porte Ouverte Chrétienne" in Mulhouse, East of France).

Last february, his church became the scapegoat of Covid19 propagation. Many diffamatory comments lead this church, and his pastor, to be targeted.

Pastor Samuel Peterschmitt did not hide. After having received substantial backing from various circles (including the mainstream weekly Paris Match), Samuel Peterschmitt replied on solid ground, deconstructing the diffamatory accusations through a book which has just been released. Written with a mainstream journalist (from the weekly Marianne), the title is "La déferlante" (the flood), ed. Première Partie, 2020.

11/12/2020

French documentaries on Billy Graham

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Billy Graham, "America's pastor", is a global figure. The example of France is revealing. Although France can't claim more than 3% of protestants (including 1 million of Evangelicals), Billy Graham has strongly impacted the country. 

This is why the French National TV Network "France 2" has devoted a very detailed documentary to Billy Graham. The first part has been released last sunday and can still be viewed for free here : 

Link

11/05/2020

Art of the steal: when it's time to return what belongs to Africa

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French museum are full of pieces inherited from Colonization.

Good news: President Macron (France)  and President Rajoelina (Madagascar) have agreed that a very precious royal item, belonging to the House of the last queen, Ranavalona III, would be given back to Madagascar today.

Crown surmounting the royal canopy of Queen Ranavalona III (raised as protestant), on display at the Musée de l’Armée de Paris,  is due to return to Antananarivo on November 5, 2020 for a simple loan before being definitively returned to Madagascar after the adoption of a law of exception by the French Parliament.

Having visited the Madagascar royal palace, I could not applaud more to this process of returning to Madagascar this cultural property, a symbol of Malagasy history.

Link

10/29/2020

Standing by Nice

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10/08/2020

Sunday schools movement in France: read Anne Ruolt

Stephen Orchard, John H. Y. Briggs,Thomas E Bergler, Anne Ruolt, GSRL, sunday school, Protestantism, Evangelicalism, France, bookSunday schools were first set up in the 18th century in Protestant England to provide education to working children. Since then, the movement spread worldwide. Some very insightful researches have been conducted.

For England, let's mention Stephen Orchard, John H. Y. Briggs, The Sunday School Movement : Studies in the Growth and Decline of Sunday Schools, Londres, Paternoster, 2007.

For the United-States, see (among others) Bergler, Thomas E. The Juvenilization of American Christianity. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 2012.  

The French Protestant landscape has been also impacted early on by the Sunday school movement. Thanks to  (picture), who conducted several researches on Education and Protestantism, a very complete synthesis is available: Anne Ruolt, L’École du Dimanche en France au XIXe siècle, pour croître en sagesse et en grâce, collection religion – sciences humaines, Paris, l’Harmattan, 2012.

This book would largely deserve a translation. Dr Anne Ruolt, who recently defended successfully her habilitation thesis to supervise research,  is currently part of the GSRL research team (Paris, France).

10/30/2019

A major book on French religious minorities

9782227494855.jpgThis unprecedented work (1152p) has just been published in French (Bayard, 2019).

It brings together nearly 80 sociologists, ethnologists, anthropologists and historians.

It aims to provide a better understanding of the religious groups present in France and their recent development.
In a new approach, it offers a series of chapters each presenting in detail a religious group.

These religious "minorities" (including Catholicism) are grouped together by large denominational groups, which makes it possible to grasp the internal diversity of each of these.

Directed by Anne-Laure Zwilling, this remarkable synthesis should definitely be translated in English!

Link (in French)

02/25/2016

Amazing teaching tool: everything about JAPAN in 9 minutes

Lacking time ? Looking for a speedy teaching about Japanese History ?

There it is ! This excellent Youtube video will do the trick. Bill Wurtz surveys the Land of the Rising Sun's entire past during a colorful, funny 9-minute lecture. Budhism, Samuraïs, diplomatic history, rice culture, World wars I and II, Hiroshima bomb, post-war Economic miracle are all covered. Hopes some day French History may be covered with such speed and intelligence!

The 300.000 Evangelicals in Japan are not mentioned, though. For those who want to know about this sub-chapter of Japanese religious History, click here (link).

Here is the video:

12/20/2015

Pictures from Field work in DR Congo and Burkina Faso

africa, france, dr congo, kinshasa, ouagadougou, burkina faso, evangelicalsToo busy! This is the main reason why this blog has not been fed as expected in this year 2015. There is another reason however: my research has been directed more and more towards the French-speaking transnational territories between France and Africa. Here are some insights from my recent field studies in Congo DR and Burkina Faso (Ouagadougou):

Field in Congo DR (Kinshasa), Flickr Album here (link), september 2015

Field in Burkina Faso (Ouagadougou), Flickr Album here (link), nov-december 2015

12/14/2015

A "must-"read": the French Virtual Museum of Protestantism

logo.pngDid you know that Luther’s ideas began to spread in France from 1520 onwards. The authorities did their best to oppose them. From 1540, under Jean Calvin’s influence, a new Church took shape, but separate from the Roman Catholic Church.

To know more, just click here (link), to reach the French-based Virtual Museum of Protestantism, an excellent website dedicated to spread scholarly information about Protestantism, France and worldwide.

Many sections are carefully crafted in English, so English-speaking readers have no excuse missing them!

Link.

11/13/2015

PARIS, 13th of November, 2015

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11/01/2015

New Christianities explored in Afrique Contemporaine

E_AFCO_252_H310.jpgEdited by the Agence Française de Développement (French Development Agency), the quarterly journal Afrique Contemporaine makes available the analyses and opinions of researchers and specialists on the evolution of the African continent with a view towards sustainable development.

 

It has been an honour for me to lead a special issue, with my colleague Dr Cedric Mayrargue, about NEW CHRISTIANITIES in Africa (mostly Evangelicals).

 

This edition (n°252) has been released in July 2015, whith a rich content (related to Congo, South Sudan, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia etc.).

Link.