As the French (and Canadian) debate is still quite polarized by "laïcité" (laicity) and the challenge of public regulation of religion, let's have a wider look and remind (among others) the works of Jean-Paul Willaime (link to his page).
A worldwide leading sociologist of religion, Director of studies at the École Pratique des Hautes Études (EPHE, Religious Studies section) and former president of the International Society for the Sociology of Religion (ISSR), visiting professor at the College of Europe, Dr Jean-Paul Willaime is always worth being read.
He has authored many articles in English, including "European Integration, Laïcité and Religion" (link).
"How do you study religion and society? In Studying religion and society, edited by Phil Zuckerman and Titus Hjelm, some of the most famous names in the field explain how they go about their everyday work of studying religions in the field. They explain how the ideas for their projects and books have come together, how their understanding of religion has changed over the years, and how their own beliefs have affected their work."
Among them, French sociologist Jean-Paul Willaime (GSRL) explains, from page 175 to page 185, how he came to study protestantism in a Catholic and Secular context. A must read!
While many speak openly about the collapse of organized Christianity in contemporary France, the heirs of French Reformers (including French-born John Calvin) are currently growing.
Although this is unexpected, it can't be denied. This process goes along with the spread of Evangelical new communities. A third of all current French protestants are Evangelicals, while 60% remain attached to the presbyterian and lutheran traditions. This new landscape draws questions and requires analysis.
Whoever wants to know more about the current state of French Protestantism should notice: a big Conference will be organized in Paris in 2010, from November, the 18th, to November the 20th.
The conference's title is : "French Protestantism : A restructured family". This conference is impulsed by the Protestant Federation of France (FPF).