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Rewriting Heresy in the Encyclopedie d'Yverdon 1770-1780[*]

Clorinda Donato
California State University, Long Beach

C.Donato, «Rewriting Heresy in the Encyclopedie d'Yverdon 1770-1780», Cromohs, 7 (2002): 1-26,



 

1. Among the many paths eighteenth-century readers of the Encyclopédie might choose to explore for enlightenment, articles dishing up philosophie in the form of orthodoxy-bashing were certainly favorites. While particular aim was taken at the Catholic Church, the Encyclopédie also adopted a critical stance toward the variety of religious sects that had broken off from the Catholic Church from the time of its establishment. These sects met with the disdain of all authors of religious articles in the Encyclopédie, from Mallet to Jaucourt. In Protestant countries, on the other hand, where the Encyclopédie was accessible and widely read, articles denouncing religion, especially those denouncing all forms of Protestantism, rankled those men of letters who saw no contradiction between enlightenment and revelation. Out of Switzerland, in the small city of Yverdon-les-Bains, a formal, structured answer was delivered in the form of a rewritten encyclopedia, the Encyclopédie d'Yverdon, 1770-1780. Thus what might an eighteenth-century reader of these two encyclopedias learn about heresy from a perusal of some of their folio and in-quarto tomes spanning the period 1751-1780? This question brings us squarely into the center of the debate that raged throughout Europe in Protestant and Catholic quarters alike over the representation of religion in the 25-folio volume Encyclopédie of Diderot and D'Alembert (1751-1765). While every stripe of anti-philosophe had denounced its heretical premises, the consequences of consulting this work brought the focus in even closer on heresy from the moment Pope Clement XIII placed the Encyclopédie on the index in 1759, making access to it difficult in varying degrees in Austria, Italy, and Spain, with Spain being the least likely country of access due to the iron-clad efficiency of inquisitorial censorship. Italy's lack of central leadership had made it possible for two expurgated folio reprints to surface in Tuscany, where, despite the purported autonomy of the Tuscan duchy under Leopold III, the Church was simply to close at hand for the Tuscan publishers Ottaviano Diodati in Lucca and Giuseppe Aubert in Livorno to produce anything but what we might call cleaned-up Catholic versions.
However, even less is known about the 58 quarto-volume "Protestant" response published in the Swiss town of Yverdon-les-Bains, 1770-1780[1]. I have deliberately put Protestant in quotation marks to call attention to the somewhat problematic nature of this term as used by Robert Darnton to characterize the work in his Business in the Enlightenment: A Publishing History of the `Encyclopédie' 1775-1800 . Published in 1979, Darnton's book reflected the dominant tendency to read the majority of eighteenth-century literary production through the prism of France, which often resulted in the drawing of gross comparative generalizations and very little serious or thorough reading of the other texts[2].

2. Thanks to the growing interest in the religious aspects of the Enlightenment to which this volume of essays on heresy provides ample testimony, there has been a great deal of incentive to read the articles of both encyclopedias to understand what was truly at stake for a remarkably heterogeneous group of readers. To be sure, readers delighted in the Encyclopédie's blasphemies against the Church in articles that had quickly become legendary. Hidden surprises lurked in articles such as "Aigle," with its mocking satire of the Holy Spirit, or in "renvois" such as "Capuchon," where the reader of the respectful article "Cordeliers" was sent for a heavy dose of philosophie against the waste and corruption of religious orders that spent the bulk of their time warring over the width of their hoods[3]. But it turns out that these oft-quoted examples of Voltaire's agenda to "écraser l'Infâme" had begun to tire even the sage of Ferney himself; in 1770 Voltaire wrote to Gabriel Cramer, that, all things considered, the editor of the Yverdon edition, Fortunato Bartolomeo de Felice and his collaborators, had succeeded in producing a work that corrected the many errors plaguing the Encyclopédie: "Pour moi," he concluded drammatically "j'acheterai l'édition d'Yverdon et non l'autre"[4].
As it turns out, many people did just that[5]. Those seeking more than philosophie were certainly in the market for more reliable content, especially as the last third of the century dawned and the appeal of the biting satire and irony of the high French Enlightenment had begun to wane. From such a perspective, the religious articles of the Encyclopédie proved superficial, simplistic, and flawed, despite the fact that "There are...articles on religion favourable to Catholicism, Protestantism, deism, skepticism, or atheism..."[6]. While we know that the mere existence of such articles was no longer a compelling enough reason to prefer the Encyclopédie, it is impossible to chart the extent to which they were problematic and flawed without performing a reading exercise that is the opposite of the one Darnton and others implied in their writings on the Encyclopédie and its competitors. For the articles dealing with heresy, we have instead read the Encyclopédie articles through those of the Encyclopédie d'Yverdon. By going beyond some of the well-known examples we have already mentioned, the highly intricate interplay of Catholic religious orthodoxy, anti-Protestantism, and philosophie that characterizes the numerous Encyclopédie articles that can be classified under the rubric of religion, and the encyclopedists who penned them, comes to light. Thanks to the work of Frank and Serena Kafker, we now know a great deal about the variety of encyclopedists who contributed to the Encyclopédie and the degree to which they were orthodox. However, the group's eclectic nature proved a stumbling block once knowledge rather than opposition to tradition became the primary quest of encyclopedia readers.

3.In matters of religion, the encyclopedists who contributed to the Encyclopédie d'Yverdon were an extremely homogeneous group. The Encyclopédie d'Yverdon responded to the majority of religious articles taken from the Encyclopédie with revised versions; in many cases, they filled in gaps with articles that were completely new. Thanks to the database index of the Encyclopédie d'Yverdon, it is possible to accurately compute the number of entries in categories pertaining to religion that the Yverdon encyclopedists either rewrote, annotated, or provided as new articles[7]. Table I in this article has been compiled from that database and reflects most of the fields that are included, with the exception of article length which is indicated in the database in increments of tenths of a column.
Let us consider the statistics for articles in the three categories of Ecclesiastical History, Sacred History, and Theology. The Yverdon encyclopedists designated 733 articles in the Encyclopédie d'Yverdon as pertaining to "Ecclesiastical History;" of those articles, 117 were rewritten and 179 were new, while fourteen were corrected through the addition of long notes. Of the 422 articles that are unmarked, meaning that they have been reprised from the Encyclopédie, 95% extend over less than a half a column, constituting definitions rather than articles. Under the rubric "Sacred History," of the 592 articles written, 509 are new, 52 rewritten and merely 31 taken over from the Encyclopédie. In the category "Theology," of the 620 articles which make up the total, 76 are new, 176 rewritten, and 10 heavily annotated. Of the 368 remaining, the vast majority are less than half a column long, reflecting the kind of content one would find in a dictionary rather than an encyclopedia, as we have already seen in the case of "Ecclesiastical History". The electronic database makes it possible to express the differences between the two encyclopedias statistically, particularly in the cases where the Yverdon encyclopedists wanted to distance themselves from the Paris edition by marking articles as new or rewritten. However, there is still a great deal of work to be done in comparing the articles in the two enyclopedias that appear to be the same. Fortunately, the articles regarding heresy that are marked "R" and "N" in Table I provide ample sources. An overview of the publishing history and cultural role of the Encyclopédie d'Yverdon are helpful in the presentation of heresy in this Swiss compilation.

4.The Encyclopédie d'Yverdon, published in 58 quarto volumes between 1770 and 1780 in Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland, by the Italian Fortunato Bartolomeo de Felice, was conceived by a group of enlightened Protestant Vaudois pastors and Bernese patricians as a response to the irreligion and philosophie of Diderot and D'Alembert's Encyclopédie and as a vehicle for disseminating a workable model of Lumières in which revelation, scientific discovery, and innovation could not only co-exist, but work together. Previous work comparing different categories of these two encyclopedias has yielded tangible results regarding the significant differences between the two and the divergent moments of eighteenth-century thought that both represent[8]. However, the articles concerning religion are among the most interesting to deal with, for they provide an enlightened, informed, intellectual response to the many points of orthodoxy and ecclesiastical history that were either overlooked by the authors of the Encyclopédie, or were given short shrift.
This is not to say that there are no points of convergence-indeed, the two encyclopedias share a critique of Catholicism, which should be dealt with in a more exhaustive comparative study on the representation of religion in the two encyclopedias. Concerning the topic of heresy, convergence can be found in the view of a number of ancient heretical movements such as the "Photiniens," the fourth century sect that denied the divinity of Christ or the "Originistes," who claimed that Christ was only the son of God by adoption and that even demons would eventually be delivered from the fires of hell. The articles describing this "ancient" group of heretical movements are neither new nor rewritten but are, indeed, reproductions of the articles from the Paris encyclopedia. However, the bulk of the articles dealing with any form of Protestantism or "proto-protestantism" has been completely rewritten to reflect the view expressed by Martin Mulsow.
In delineating the variety of forms that early modern histories of heresy took on, Mulsow defines one of the possible positions as follows: "A person x, found traditionally to be a heretic by orthodoxy, is indeed no heretic, because the condemned doctrine she advocated was in fact the right doctrine"[9].The rewritten articles "Hérésie" and "Hérétique" discussed at the end of this paper demonstrate a very clearly defined position on heresy and its definition, culminating in an accusation of the philosophes as the true heretics. By examining a selection of articles that address the issue of heresy in various ways, the Yverdon encyclopedia's program vis-à-vis the Encyclopédie will become apparent.

5. Numerous factors contribute to the revision of heresy that unfolds in the pages of the Encyclopédie d'Yverdon, among which the autobiographical experiences of managing editor of the enterprise, F.B. de Felice, should not be discounted.
De Felice certainly had his share of personal experiences with heresy as a Franciscan in Italy in the 1750s who had been targeted as a Protestant sympathizer. From the time he had seen the hopes and aspirations of Antonio Genovesi's enlightened Neapolitan thinkers dashed following the death of Benedict XIV and the election of Clement XIII as pope, he was looking for any available means to leave Italy and live his life independently of the Catholic Church. He had been schooled in Brescia during the 1730s, when Protestant texts circulated freely in this small, intellectually curious northern Italian town, and religious debate was open[10]. He then went to Rome, where he took his orders, setting out a few years later for Naples to occupy a chair of experimental physics at Antonio Genovesi's behest. He first became familiar with Switzerland when he traveled there with the Countess Panzuti, whom he had helped escape from the convent she had been locked away in by her husband following a marital dispute. Destitute after several weeks of travel through the "pays hérétique" including Switzerland, De Felice returned to Italy with the Countess, where they were immediately seized. Countess Panzutti was again sequestered, but De Felice was merely given a light penance by the ecclesiastical authorities and reprimanded "over a cup of hot chocolate," as Gorani's chronicle of De Felice's life tells it, for having traveled among the Protestant heretics[11]. From that point on he was branded as a heretic in Italy and sought permanent exile status in Switzerland. Thanks to contacts between himself, Giambattista Morgagni in Padua and Albrecht von Haller in Berne, he escaped from Italy in 1757, shortly after the repressive pope Clement XIII had replaced Benedict XIV.

6. Once in Switzerland, De Felice became an outspoken critic of Catholicism, penning several of the Encyclopédie d'Yverdon articles on Catholicism himself or supplying his collaborator, the pastor Gabriel Mingard, with the material. However, De Felice had already begun honing his anti-Catholic rhetorical skills before leaving Italy. In 1756 an eight-volume translation of Pascal's Lettres Provinciales with copious notes and comentary was published in Venice bearing his signature. The work was apparently commissioned by the Bernese patrician, Vincenz Bernard von Tscharner, who with Albrecht von Haller, would subsequently welcome him to Berne. Because of the vociferous call for reform in this work, De Felice was often confused with Carlo Antonio Pilati, another expatriot Italian residing in Switzerland, who had written a three-volume work on reforming the Catholic Church[12].
Once De Felice fled Italy for Switzerland under a pseudonym, his reputation as a heretic in his native country was sealed. None of his former colleagues or collaborators dared correspond with him for fear of their own lives, since they had been warned not to answer any of his letters or to collaborate with him in any way. This was unfortunate, as De Felice had hoped to recruit for his encyclopedia the man he considered the most intelligent in all of in Italy, the Neapolitan Freemason, Raimondo de Sangre, the Prince of San Severo, with whom, as he wrote in his correspondence, he would spend hours critiquing the Catholic Church. Once he became engaged in Swiss Lumières in a significant way, and the commercial successes of his encyclopedia rivaled those of Diderot and D'Alembert's Encyclopédie, he was branded by Voltaire as a "polisson, plus imposteur encore qu'apostat, qui demeure dans un cloaque du Pays de Vaud"[13]. Despite such negative assessments of its founding author's character, the Encyclopédie d'Yverdon took the world of eighteenth-century letters by surprise. As much as the philosophes critiqued its humble origins, published far from the likes of Paris in the relatively insignificant Swiss town of Yverdon-les-Bains, the Encyclopédie d'Yverdon nonetheless became one of the jewels in the crown of French-language publications produced in Romandie in the second half of the eighteenth century that was successfully marketed and sold at the Leipzig book fair twice a year[14].

Book fair catalogue statistics clearly indicate a sudden and almost thorough shift in the production of French-language books produced outside of France from Holland to Switzerland in the second half of the eighteenth century. De Felice's preface to the Yverdon encyclopedia explains why Yverdon-les-Bains, a small town in the Pays de Vaud under Bernese rule, was the ideal place to publish an encyclopedia. By extension, it also explains why the publishing houses in Neuchâtel and Lausanne also did a thriving business 1765-1789 in the wake of greater censorship restrictions in France:

"La réligion que nous professons, le Gouvernement sous lequel nous avons le bonheur de vivre nous permettent de tracer librement le tableau des connaissances humaines, tel qu'il est, sans consulter d'autres lois que celles qu'imposent l'estime pour le vrai, l'amour pour le bien, en un mot les lumières d'une raison éclairée, sans craindre d'être opprimés par ce pouvoir aussi monstrueux que rédoutable, dont l'ignorance, le fanatisme, la superstition. l'orgueil, l'avarice et la cruauté se servent pour étouffer la vérité ou en arreter les progrès", (EY, I, p. IX).

7. As far as De Felice was concerned, the circumstances for publishing an encyclopedia that could openly critique Catholicism were far better in Switzerland than they were in Italy or in France at the time that the Encyclopédie was published. In comparison to the political reality of Italy during the last few years of his life there, the Canton of Bern seemed a haven of open expression, at least for the issues that were the most important to him-the exposure of the Catholic Church and exposure of the fallacy of philosophie which from the Swiss perspective, provided no constructive platform for the progress of the human spirit.
De Felice's introduction can be read as a religious and political justification for philosophie as a strategy of necessity, which the French were forced into by a corrupt political and religious structure. De Felice's preface also provides an overview of the criteria that he and his collaborators applied in their adaptation of the Encyclopédie. Recognizing the French encyclopedia as the blueprint for his own encyclopedic enterprise, De Felice explained that he had tried to bring more unity to articles belonging to the same branch of learning so that the reader might better understand the way the articles in a given area were linked to each other as part of a "système complet". Furthermore, he stated that they had filled in the numerous gaps in the French work where essential articles were missing, eliminating those that were no longer useful, or in the opinion of the Yverdon encyclopedists, no longer of interest to "l'Europe éclairée".
Articles that were out of date or poorly written from the start were cast anew as well. Additionally, and most pertinent for the topic of this paper, entire disciplines were completely rewritten, including theology and church history as we have seen from the statistical overview outlined above. Early testimony from Albrecht von Haller bears witness to the changes that the Yverdon encyclopedists adopted. Though he had harbored reservations about the enterprise in its early stages, Haller wrote in favor of the enterprise to Charles Bonnet after reading the first few volumes in 1770: "L"originalité de l'entreprise Felice, comparée à l'entreprise parisienne, ne saurait, je crois, être contestée... Que l'esprit en soit autre, particulièrement en ce qui touche la philosophie et la religion, nous nous en persuaderons tantôt..." (Ms. Bonnet, 50, fol. 60. Dec. 6, 1770, Bibliothèque Publique et universitaire, Genève).

8. In 1772 Charles Bonnet read 25 articles taken from the Encyclopédie d'Yverdon which he compared to articles by the same title in the Encyclopédie. Almost all of the articles for which he penned commentaries in his Notice Raisonnée comparing the two works dealt with religion and morality. Bonnet also critiqued numerous articles from the Paris encyclopedia and Formey's Dictionnaire portatif in the same Notice. Following Bonnet's lead, we have a good idea of how the contemporary Swiss "homme de lettres" viewed these works in a comparative light. On November 13, 1772, he wrote to Haller about his comparative exercise: "If I were to judge these articles by their approach to the task at hand, I would prefer the Yverdon encyclopedia to that of Paris"[15]. Bonnet complimented, in particular, the articles written by Gabriel Mingard, the pastor in Lausanne who was De Felice's best and closest collaborator. He was often assigned theological articles and those dealing with rational philosophy which Bonnet found particularly well done.
Bonnet was especially complimentary about the "new" article "Certitude" which had been completely reworked. Bonnet found it to be "good protection against Pyrrhonisme." Mingard's articles deserve close attention because they point to a controversy concerning orthodoxy in the Pays de Vaud, which was under Bernese rule and whose censors therefore read the Yverdon encyclopedia for approval. In volume X of the Plates, the last volume of the Encyclopedie d'Yverdon to be published before the six volumes of the Supplément were produced, Felice explained why Mingard signed his articles with two different sets of initials-either GM or MDB. Mingard had been accused of writing articles that were unorthodox, inviting close scrutiny of all articles signed GM. For this reason, he began to sign articles of a potentially controversial nature MDB. Since no one was looking for unorthodox writing in the articles signed MDB, De Felice claimed that no further complaints were lodged. Table I shows articles signed both ways by Mingard. Further research is needed to determine why the articles signed MDB were more problematic than the ones signed GM. In theological matters, De Felice was also helped by one of Mingard's colleagues, Alexandre-César Chavannes, who signed CC and wrote on the history of religions; Elie Bertrand (BC) a Vaudois pastor who carried on an intensive correspondence with Voltaire, also wrote about theology. The list of Encycopédie d'Yverdon articles (Table I) pertinent to heresy that accompanies this paper indicates articles that were either anonymous, signed by De Felice, Mingard (with both sets of initials), Chavannes, or Bertrand.

9. The most difficult part of working with a corpus as large as the Encyclopédie d'Yverdon is establishing a core group of articles to begin the initial study. The attached table provides a representative sampling for heresy, which is by no means exhaustive, as we have already indicated in our brief statistical overview of articles addressing religious topics. In order to do more thorough justice to the topic, the entire corpus of articles signed by each of the four authors on theological topics should be dealt with separately.
For example, Mingard's articles (signed both GM and MDB) number over 1371. Nonetheless, our work in this area allows us to establish the following general differences about the two encyclopedias that serve to provide a working context for the topic of heresy:
I. The Encyclopédie d'Yverdon refuses and refutes all forms of "philosophical pride". The group of articles "Pyrrhonisme, Conjecture, (not signed) and the articles "Comment" and "Evènement" signed by Mingard consistently attack atheism, materialism, and spinozasime, in particular D'Holbach's Système de la Nature. This refutation is found in Mingard's article "Nature," in which he cites the mistake of those who think, like Spinoza did, that the universe "était la cause de lui-meme".
II. The Encyclopédie d'Yverdon repeatedly affirms in a variety of articles the compatibility of revealed religion and natural religion. Mingard's article "Déiste" provides the best example, while De Felice peppers throughout his own articles entire passages of Rousseau's Profession de foi du Vicaire savoyard[16].
III. The Yverdon encyclopedists agree, however, with the philosophes that there is nothing worse than religious fanaticism, and no one is spared. Catholics are taken to task for this in the articles "Jesuites" an unsigned, rewritten, fifty-one column article, and "Missionaire", also rewritten and signed by De Felice himself. However, the Yverdon encyclopedists consistently correct attributions of fanaticism to Protestant and proto-Protestant movements made in the Paris encyclopedia. This point will be addressed in detail in the discussion on the articles "Albigeois, Hussites, and Luther, Martin" in this paper.
IV. Strong attack against Catholicism, mainly coming from De Felice and Mingard. For example, there is total agreement between Mingard's rewritten diatribe against celibacy in the Yverdon encyclopedia and the article "Célibat" in the Paris encyclopedia.
V. Critical of the persecution of heretics, even when the persecution was imposed by the Calvinists. For example, Elie Bertrand's articles on Calvinism and Jean Calvin criticize the "supplice de Servet" in which Jean Calvin put the Spaniard Michel Servet to death for his interpretation of Calvin's teachings, futhermore, Bertrand was bothered by the Calvinists' strict adherence to scripture, claiming in his articles that Calvin "n'est point du tout un docteur infaillible".
VI. By extension, the Yverdon encyclopedia is hostile to all forms of theological dogmatism. This comes through the most in Mingard's articles and in the articles "Hérésie" and "Hérétique" which are discussed further at the end of the article.

10. The list of articles related to heresy on Table I is by no means exhaustive but it is thorough enough for the purposes of this article. While this table of articles could be analyzed in a number of ways, we will limit our comments to those articles relating to Protestant movements or sects that cleared the way for the Protestantism that was practiced by the Yverdon encyclopedists. It would even be fair to take this one step further and to say that the autobiographical element is key, particularly in the case of F.D. De Felice.
It is opportune to remember that De Felice grew up and was ordained in a Rome whose Inquisition had been "reconstituted in 1542 to combat the menace of Protestantism in the Italian peninsula, whereas the Spanish Inquisition had been created more than half a century earlier to deal with massive numbers of converted Jews. The nature of what was considered "heresy" in each system reflects these original concerns"[17]. Although almost two hundred years separated the reconstitution of the Roman Inquisition to stamp out Protestant heresy and De Felice's decision to leave Italy, it is easy to see the extent to which Felice identified with the Protestant mission to rectify the errors of the Catholic Church and to set a new course that was determined by both a spiritual and intellectual engagement with Scripture. Nowhere is this more clearly demonstrated that in the three articles "Albigeois"[18], "Hussites," and "Luther, Martin."
Although only the article "Hussites" is signed by De Felice, the other two are unsigned but bear his style and passion. These three articles provide an example of the kind of rehabilitation of three heretics that follow Mulsow's model which we have mentioned earlier. In contrast with the Encyclopédie articles of the same title, the intent of the Encyclopédie d'Yverdon articles "Albigeois," "Hussites," and "Luther, Martin" is to expunge the notion of heresy attributed to the beliefs of the Albigeois, Hussites, and Lutherans by the Encyclopédie and instead to present them as proponents of the right doctrine. The opening of the article "Hussites" in the Encyclopédie d'Yverdon is indicative: "Secte de chretiens, ainsi nommés de Jean Hus, recteur de l'Université de Prague, né dans un bourg de la Bohème de parens obscurs, le 6 Juillet en 1373. Fameux par ses prédications en langue vulgaire, il adore Wiclef et le déclare un saint dans ses sermons", (EY XXIII, 588).

11. In a few brief sentences, De Felice paints a picture of heroic reform. He goes on to tell how Hus was called to Rome and later excommunicated, but returnsed to his native Prague where he continued preaching to write his works Unité de l'Eglise and Six erreurs. De Felice describes how Hus was burned for his beliefs and how his horrible death only served to further ignite passion for him and his beliefs in his native Prague.
Like Peter Waldo, founder of the Albigeois whom we will turn to next, Hus gave to the poor and ministered to them, renouncing all riches. He is also credited with having returned to scriptural sources to extract truths that had been buried and forgotten by the Catholic clergy and replaced instead with error. As can be seen in the long quote below, De Felice wants his readers to understand the man behind the movement and to see him as the well-loved and well-respected member of his community that he was. In this vein, much is made of the recognition Hus received from his country and the university, which not only remained proud, but also accorded him an éloge which appears on the front of a Catholic church in Prague:

"Nous finirons cet article par le temoignage que l'université même de Prague rendit à ce bienheureux martyr de la rage romaine, après son supplice; temoignage d'autant plus frappant qu'il est donné à la face de l'église par une université catholique. Ce temoignage est adressé de la part du recteur & de toute l'université unanimement, à tous les enfans de sainte mère église catholique, repandue dans le monde. Jean Hus y est representé comme un grand & un sainte homme, dont la mémoire est très-precieuse a toute l'université. Il avoit, dit-on dans cette pièce, un esprit superieur, une pénétration vive & profonde, nul n'étoit plus prêt à écrire sur le champ né à faire des réponses plus fortes aux objections. Personne n'avoit un zèle plus véhément, & mieux conduit en chaire; on ne l'a jamais trouvé dans aucune erreur que dans le conseil des mechans qui l'ont déchiré, à cause de son amour pour la justice. O homme d'une vertu inestimable, d'une saintété éclatante, d'une humeur & d'une piété inimitables, d'un desintéressement & d'une charité sans exemple. Il méprisoit les richesses au souverain dégré, il ouvroit ses entrailles aux pauves, on le voyoit souvent à genoux au pied du lit des malades; les naturels les plus indomptables, il les gagnoit par sa douceur, & il ramenoit les impenitents par des torrents de larmes; il tiroit de l'Ecriture sainte ensévélie dans l'oubli, des motifs puissans, & tout nouveaux pour engager les écclesiastiques vicieux à revenir de leurs égaremens, & à remplir les engagemens de leur caracteur, & pour reformer les moeurs de tous les ordres, sur le pied de la primitive église. Après cet éloge, on passe à sa supplice en ces mots: « Les opprobres, les calomnies, la famine, l'infamine, mille tourmens inhumains & enfin la mort qu'il a souffert, tout cela, non seulement avec patience, mais meme d'un visage tranquille & riant; toutes ces choses sont un temoignage authentique d'une vertu à toute épreuve & d'une constance aussi bien que d'une foi & d'une piété inébranlables »". ("Hussites", Encyclopédie d'Yverdon, vol. XXIII, pp. 590-591.)

12. De Felice attacks the fanaticism of the Catholic Church, the "rage romaine" that has persecuted Jean Hus and tried to block his teachings. More importantly though, De Felice describes the ecclesiastical institutions in Prague, the Church and the University, as being completely behind Jean Hus and bucking the authority of Rome. Authority resides with truth and that truth is to be found in scripture, not in the structure of the church or in the constructed infallibility of one man. The four authors of religious articles in the Yverdon encyclopedia share this point of view, which can be best summed up in Elie Bertrand's assessment of Jean Calvin as not being an infallible doctor. As he explains it, the Calvinists: " ... n'admettent aucun article de la doctrine de Calvin sur son autorité seule, mais en tant qu'ils le trouvent révélé & établi dans l'Ecriture-Sainte. Calvin est pour eux un docteur, respectable sans doute, par ses vertus, son savoir & ses travaux ; mais point du tout un docteur infaillible, ni un maître qu'ils suivent sans examen". ( " Calvinisme " EY, v. VII, p. 128).
The article "Hussite" as it appears in the Encyclopédie serves up an entirely different interpretation of Jean Hus, the Hussites, and their aftermath. Less than one quarter the length of the Yverdon article, Jaucourt, the author, has not focused at all on Jean Hus, but rather on the religious wars that shook Bohemia in the wake of his death and the ferocity of his followers and their leaders, in particular Jean Ziska: "Les Hussites, vengeurs de Jean Hus étoient au nombre de quarante mille: c'étoient des animaux sauvages, que la sevérité du concile avoit déchaînés; les prêtres qu'ils recontroient payoient de leur sang la cruauté des pères de Constance; Jean, surnommé Ziska, qui veut dire borgne, chef barbare de ces barbares, battit Sigismond plus d'une fois", (Encyclopédie, v. VIII, p.357).
Jaucourt's sarcasm is palpable, as is his scorn for anyone who would bring religious zeal to such a pitch. While De Felice emphasized the erudition and reason that guided Hus and his followers, Jaucourt focuses on Ziska, reminding us that the name means "borgne," or one-eyed (he had lost one of his eyes in battle), but the figurative meaning of dishonest and ill-reputed was lost on no one. Jaucourt also emphasizes the grotesque and the bizarre, ending his account with the image of Ziska's skin stretched over a drum that was used to lead the Hussites in battle after his death. Such a portrayal corresponds with the intent of the philosophe camp to point out the monsterous, superstitious and fanatical repercussions of all religions.

13. The article "Albigeois" offers a similar comparative scenario. Though unsigned in the Yverdon edition, as we have already mentioned, De Felice probably wrote the article. As was the case for "Hussite," "Albigeois" has been greatly expanded with respect to the Encyclopédie article written by Mallet, a Catholic priest, as is evident from the first few lines when he describes the Albigeois:

"secte générale composée de plusieurs hérétiques qui s'élevèrent dans le XII. Siècle, & dont le but principal étoit de détourner les Chrétiens de la réception des Sacremens, de renverser l'ordre hierarchique, & de troubler la discipline de l'Eglise. On les nomma ainsi, parce qu'Olivier, un des disciples de Pierre de Valdo, chef des Vaudois ou pauvres de Lyon, repandit le premier leurs erreurs dans Albi, ville du haut Languedoc sur le Tarn, & que cette ville fut comme le centre des provinces qu'ils infectèrent de leurs opinions", (Encyclopédie, v. I, p. 245).

Mallet's style is noteworthy, as it constitutes a conflation of what we might call "philosophie catholique". Mallet employs the sarcastic, mocking tone used by the philosophes against the "Infâme," but his position purportedly represents that of the Catholic Church. This binary "us, Catholic"/"them, heretics" opposition holds true throughout the entire article. Mallet plants the seed in the mind of the reader of a marauding band of various heretics who have come together to disrupt the institutional aspects of the Catholic Church, i.e., the receiving of the sacraments, the hierarchical order, and the discipline of the Church. They are labeled as heretics from the first sentence of the article and are held in full contempt by Mallet for their "erreurs" and for having "infected" the provinces around Albi with their beliefs, which are disparagingly called opinions. Instead, the Yverdon version of the same article, asserts a different binary opposition "us, Protestants and therefore heretics in the eyes of the Catholics" and "them, Catholics":

"Albigeois c'est le nom qu'on a donné à des Chretiens du XII. Siècle que les Catholiques ont appellés hérétiques. Ils furent connus premièrement sous le nom de Vaudois, Waldenses. Les uns ont cru que ce nom étoit tiré de l'allemand Wald qui signifie foret, & qu'on les avoit ainsi appeles, parce qu'ils vivoient dans les bois. D'autres ont fait venir ce nom de celui de Walden, ville située sur les frontières de la France. D'autres ont cru que ce nom leur avoit été donné en comun avec les habitans des vallées du Piemont, appellés en italien Waldesi, & en françois Vaudois." ("Albigeois ", EY, v. II, p. 62)

14. The care taken in philological precision to accurately describe who they are and how they have evolved signals the reader to the respect accorded to this group by the author. The subtext of Protestant authority in sources and matters of erudition underlies this thorough delineation of the group's origins, which explains how they are related to the Waldensiens. The precision of Protestant erudition is at the heart of this article and is part of each of the heresies that are discussed in the Encyclopedie d'Yverdon. In the article "Albigeois" errors of Catholic erudition, in this case Bossuet, are thoroughly indicated. Speaking of the origins of this group the author of the article cites the linguistic confusion among the words " Wald ", " Vaudois ", and the city " Walden " : "C'est ce qui a fait dire a plusieurs Auteurs catholiques, entr'autres M. Bossuet, que les Vaudois dont il s'agit, étoient d'une origine beaucoup plus ancienne que le XIIe siècle". The correction comes from a Protestant, of course, Basnage de Beauval's multi-volume Histoire Ecclesiastique: "Mais M. Basnage Hist. Eccles. XXIV. 10 a bien prouve que les Vaudois du Piemont sont beaucoup plus anciens & n'ont rien de commun, quant a l'origine, avec ceux-ci", (Ibid., p. 62). Having introduced the authority of this Protestant source, Basnage, he gives us the information, which makes the Encyclopédie article look ridiculous. Here we are give the real story of Waldus of Lyon, a rich merchant who decided to give all of his goods to the poor following the sudden death of one of the men in his town. He then took up a life of study and piety: "Le peuple accourant auprès de lui en foule, il leur traduisoit le Nouveau Testament en langue vulgaire, & leur en donnoit une explication plus claire & plus judicieuse que celle que les Docteurs de ce tems-la leur proposoient en public. Il ne negligeoit pas, lorsque l'occasion s'en presentoit, de relever les abus qui s'étoient introduits dans la doctrine & dans le culte, & sur-tout par raport à l'autorité du Clergé" ( Ibid., p. 62).
Some 300 years prior to Luther, Waldus made the Bible known to the people in the Vulgate they spoke, bringing to him in droves those who sought a clearer, more sensible explaination for their religion than the "Docteurs" had been able to offer.

15. Two points are worth mentioning here that run throughout the articles on heretics such as the "Albigeois," who are also identified with the Waldensiens, and "Hussites" and later Luther, who were really "following the right doctrine," to use Muslow's formulation. First, they share the same critique of the Catholic Church, its meaningless and superstitious rituals, the sacraments, especially confession and communion with its inherent dogma of transubstantiation. Since their beliefs are described using the adjective Protestant, the Yverdon encyclopedists are making a case for them to be viewed as proto-Protestants[19]:

"Ce qu'il y a eu d'Ecrivains sensés & équitables parmi les Docteurs catholiques se sont aussi reunis à dire que la doctrine des Albigeois étoit presqu'en tout la même que celle des Protestans, & par consequent qu'on ne peut leur reprocher autre chose si ce n'est, d'avoir condamné la domination du Pape, le faste des Prelats, le trafic des indulgences; d'avoir rejetté le purgatoire, la prière pour les morts, l'invocation des saintes, l'adoration des images, la pompe des Temples et des autels, les Sacremens ajoutés, la transubstantiation, le sacrifice de la messe, la confession auriculaire, le merite des oeuvres &c", (Ibid., p. 64).

And most importantly, as we have seen in the citation about Jean Hus, the Albigenses/Waldensians share the desire to make the work of God known to the people in the vernacular:

"On n'a qu'a faire attention encore aux chefs d'accusation qui furent portes contr'eux au Pape Innocent III. Les principaux étoient que ces gens la avoient une traduction de la Bible en langue vulgaire, qu'ils la savoient presqu'entière par coeur, qu'ils ne vouloient reconnoître aucune autre regle de foi & de moeurs, qu'ils avoient proféré des blasphèmes contre l'Eglise Romaine, le Clerge, les Sacremens & les Saintes, ou condamne les usages ecclesiastiques du XIIe siecle dans son Livre Sur les Heresies des Vaudois, Cap. V. insere dans la Bibliotheque des Peres, T.IV"(Ibid., p. 64).

16. A quick glance at the long article on Martin Luther at the point where his translation of the Bible is described underscores how the act of making the word of God known to the public constitutes the single most important clevage between Catholocism and the reform of what the Yverdon encyclopedists refer to as "notre réligion" in the passage below:

"Il entreprit de traduire la Bible en langue allemende; entreprise aussi importante que difficile, qu'il étoit extrèmement jaloux de conduire à sa fin; & il avoit toutes les qualités necessaires pour y réussir.... il finit une partie du nouveau Testament dans l'année 1524: la publication de cette version fut plus funeste à l'église de Rome que tous les autres ouvrages de Luther. Elle étoit lue par les personnes de tout rang avec une avidité & une attention extraordinaires. On étoit étonné de découvrir combien les préceptes de l'auteur de notre religion étoient contraires aux doctrines de ceux qui prétendoient être ses vicaires; & comme on avoit dans l'évangile la règle de la foi, tous se crurent en état d'en faire l'application, de juger par eux-memes des opinions établies, & de déterminer quand elles étoient conformes à la règle, ou quand elles s'en écartoient", ("Luther, Martin", EY, v. XXVI p. 770).

The importance of the translation of the Bible paradoxically applies to an argument that is both populist and elitist. It is obviously populous in its outreach to the common man and in the identification of its leaders, i.e. Waldo, Hus, and Luther as identifying with the work of the New Testament as that of the word of God made accessible through Jesus who was described, in part, as their peer, who had felt temptation and could understand sin. However, the translation of the Bible is also elitist in its relation to Renaissance erudition and man's faculties of reason, a most important tenet in the position of the Yverdon encylopedists. The article on Martin Luther in the Encyclopédie d'Yverdon spends a great deal of time explaining how the erudition and reform went hand in hand:

"La renaissance des lettres, dans la même periode, fut encore une circonstance extrèmement avantageuse à la réformation. L'étude des anciens auteurs, grecs & latins, la connoissance des beautés solides & du bon goût qui regnent dans leurs ouvrages, reveillèrent l'esprit humain de la léthargie profonde ou il étoit enseveli depuis plusieurs siècles. Les hommes parurent avoir retrouvé tout-a-coup la faculté de penser & de raisonner, dont ils avoient depuis si long-tems perdu l'usage. Jaloux de mettre à profit ces nouveaux moyens, les esprits s'exercèrent avec liberté sur toutes sortes d'objets. Ils ne craignirent plus de s'engager dans des routes inconnues, ni d'embrasser des opinions nouvelles. La nouveauté fut même alors un mérite de plus dans une doctrine; & loin de s'effrayer lorsque Luther d'une main hardie écarta ou déchira le voile qui couvroit des erreurs accreditées, on applaudit à son audace & on la seconda", (Ibid., pp. 769-770).

17. Martin Luther is characterized as a man of scientific inquiry in his pursuit of the truth contained in scriptures which reason dictated that he tackle through application of the interpretive methods developed to extract the meaning of the Greek and Latin texts that had come to light during the Renaissance. Thus through reason, a human faculty, revelation is made known and is understandable. Martin Luther fulfills the promise of Hus, Waldo, and Wyclif, whose efforts to make the Bible available in the vernacular are now crowned by the expertise of a Renaissance theologian whose erudition has made it possible to fully access the word of God. Renaissance, erudition, reason, "bel esprit," and even wit (plaisanterie) have been used to beat back the ignorance of the monks and priests who had persisted in promoting error that could no longer survive in the face of scientific truth. Erudition and reform go hand in hand:

"La cause des lettres & celle de la réforme furent donc regardées comme étroitement liées ensemble, & trouverent dans tous les pays des amis & des ennemis communs: ce fut aussi ce qui donna aux reformateurs tant d'avantage dans la controverse sur leurs adversires. L'érudition, l'exactitude, la justesse de la pensée, la pureté de style, le bel esprit meme & la plaisanterie, furent toujours de coté des réformateurs, & les firent aisement triompher de moins ignorans, dont les raisonnemens grossiers, exprimés dans un style barbare & embarassé, n'étoient guère propres à défendre une cause, dont tout l'art & toute l'adresse de ses plus modernes & des plus savans défenseurs n'ont pu déguiser les erreurs & la foiblesse. Cet esprit d'examen & de recherche que la renaissance des lettres réveilla en Europe, fut si favorable à la réforme, que les persones même qui ne prenoient aucun intêret aux succes de Luther, l'aidèrent necessairement dans son entreprise, en disposant les esprits à recevoir sa doctrine. La plupart des hommes d'esprit, qui s'appliquoient à l'étude de la littérature ancienne, vers la fin du XV. Siècle & au commencement du XVI, sans avoir le projet, ni même le désir de renverser le système de réligion établi, avoient vu l'absurdité de plusieurs opinions & de plusieurs pratiques autorisées par l'église, & avoient senti toute la foiblesse des argumens avec lesquels des moines sans lettres s'éfforcoient de les repandre. Le profond mépris qu'ils sentoient pour ces igorans défenseurs des erreurs recues, les engagea plus d'une fois a tourner en ridicule ces memes erreurs, avec autant de liberté que de sévérité", (Ibid., pp. 769-770)

18. The Yverdon encyclopedists see their work as the continuation of Martin Luther's erudite reform. During the eighteenth century when the philosophes were using reason and erudition to tear down religion, Bertrand, Chavannes, De Felice, and Mingard fight back with an entire encyclopedia whose working premise is the compatibility of reason and religion. The excerpts taken from the 16-page, rewritten Encyclopédie d'Yverdon article on Martin Luther promote the reformer as the embodiment of the "right doctrine" whose example, it is implied, continues to provide guidance. Instead, the brief Encyclopédie article "Luthéranisme" contains a portrait of the reformer that condemns him as the initiator of a new heresy in the first paragraph:

" Luthéranisme, (Théol.) sentimens du docteur Luther et de ses sectateurs sur la Religion. Le luthéranisme eut pour auteur, dans le xvj. siècle Martin Luther, dont il a pris son nom. Cet hérésiarque naquit à Eisleben, ville du comté de Mansfeld en Thuringe, l'an 1483... Luther, homme violent & emporté, & d'ailleurs fort vain & fort plein de lui-même, s'acquitta de cette commission d'une autre manière que son supérieur apparemment n'avoit voulu...Il gouta si bien le plaisir flatteur de se voir chef de parti, que ni l'excommunication de Rome, ni la condamnation de plusieurs universités célèbres, ne firent point d'impression sur lui", ("Luthéranisme", Encyclopédie, v. IX, p. 756).

The article ends with the trivialization of Luther's ideas, and the damning evidence of the confusion and discord created by Luther in the spawning of thirty-nine different sects, all listed for effect: "Il est sorti du luthéranisme trente-neuf sectes toutes différentes; savoi r....".
Table I lists several articles that are either rewritten or new that serve to flesh out the position of the Yverdon encyclopedists that the medieval heresies we have been examining were instead the expressions of early Protestantism that the Encyclopédie d'Yverdon fully embraced. Articles such as "Cathares" or "Adamites ou Adamiens", both rewritten by Chavannes, present ideas that were close to those of the Albigeois, the Waldensiens, and the Hussites, but condemnable, along with the new article on Savonarola, whose assignment to the category "Fanatisme" leaves no doubt as to how his ideas of religious purity were seen. They see the thread of continuity running from the Albigenses, Waldensians, and Hussites through Luther and indeed, both the Waldensians and the Hussites jumped immediately on the reformed bandwagon once exposed to the teachings of Luther[20].

19 The final paragraphs of the Encyclopédie d'Yverdon article "Albigeois" describes this genealogy explicitly:

"Malgré la rage des persecuteurs, la doctrine des Albigeois prit faveur dans tous les lieux ou ils se repandirent,. On vit naître de là des Viclesites, les Hussites, les frères de Boheme; & dans le XVIe siècle les Protestans. Ce qu'il en resta en France s'unit avec ceux-ci sous le regne de Francois I & des lors ils n'ont plus ete connus que sous le nom de Protestans ou Réligionaires. Les executions qui se firent l'an 1545 à Cabrieres & à Merindol, seront rapportées sous les noms de ces deux endroits. Pour bien s'instruire de la verité sur cette matiere, on n'a qu' lire d'un coté ce qu'on écrit .... . Il est bon d'observer que déjà avant le XIIe siècle il y avoit dans plusieurs lieux de l'Europe, des gens las de porter le joug, & impatiens de recouvreer leur liberté en matière de réligion & de conscience. La doctrine des habitans des Vallées Piemontoises n'étoit pas demeurée absolument inconnue aux peuples voisins, & la lumière se preproit depuis fort long-tems à se montrer", ("Albigeois," EY, II, p.65).

At the beginning of the second volume the conclusion to the article "Albigeois" can be read as a program statement for the articles on religion in the Encyclopédie d'Yverdon, and as we have seen throughout this paper in our consideration of the articles Hussites and Martin Luther. However, the story is far from complete if we fail to press beyond Luther and examine at least a sampling of articles dealing with seventeenth- and eighteenth-century figures, not to mention the role they have assigned themselves as keepers first of the "right doctrine" and second of the tradition of Protestant erudition that Luther had established during the Renaissance.
Indeed, one might read the entire Encyclopédie d'Yverdon as a monument to Protestant erudition, inclusive of Switzerland, to be sure, but the other two bastions of Protestant scholarship, namely, Holland and the German centers of Protestant erudition, i.e., Halle, Leipzig, Berlin, and Potsdam. Thus, the complementary set of articles we are about to examine focuses on seventeenth-century figures whose ideas and teachings set the stage for the controversy about heresy in the two encyclopedias; more importantly, they lay bare the opposing religious premises upon which each encyclopedia had built its intellectual edifice.
The most striking contrast among seventeenth-century scholars to be found in the Encyclopédie d'Yverdon pits the likes of Pierre Bayle against the brothers Jacques Basnage and Henri Basnage de Beauval. The eighteenth-century battle over religions that plays itself out in the pages of the two encyclopedias finds a precedent in the comparison of their sources and the goals of their writings. New articles on all three appear in the Encyclopédie d'Yverdon, and source texts from all three are cited in other articles, for example, Bayle is quoted in the Encyclopédie d'Yverdon article "Hérésie" while Jacques Basnage's Histoire Ecclesiastique is cited in the article "Albigeios" as the authority who was used to correct the erroneous scholarship of Catholic Church historians among whom Bossuet is mentioned.

20. The charges levied against Pierre Bayle are numerous and presented in a form that is reminiscent of a tirade. Despite their number, however, these charges all result in the same accusation - that of having willfully spread heresy through his writing on religion, in contrast with Voltaire's glowing assessment of Bayle's method and erudition. The author of this article attempts to tear down Bayle through a series of direct attacks that leave no stone unturned in their vehemence. However, the most serious of all his "crimes" is that of having opened the door to the philosophes through a method of argumentation that respects no rules, not the least of which is that of seeking the truth:

"Bayle sera toujours le héros de ceux qui goutent ses principes, & en adoptent les consequences. Ce n'est pas ici le lieu d'engager une controverse sur ce sujet; mais voici quelques assertions qu'on peut opposer à celles de M. de Voltaire... S'il avoit prévu combien ses ouvrages feroient de mal dans le monde, il n'auroit jamais dû les composer. Mais il vouloit, à quelque prix que ce fut, établir son dogme favori, le pyrrhonisme le plus outré. Il n'a jamais connu aucune règle de prudence, ni de bien séance... L'excellente manière de raisonner de Bayle, se réduit à l'art d'accumuler des sophismes; &, pour en faire disparoître l'inconsequence, il disperse ses objections contre une même vérité dans un grand nombre d'articles.. Il n'a pas été sans doute assez sceptique, au gré de ceux qui veulent aujourd'hui faire main basse sur tous les objets de nos connoissances, & les confondre dans une même proscription. Mais il leur a frayé la route; & sans lui on n'auroit probablement pas encore poussé la licence jusqu'aux extremités ou nous la voyons parvenir aujourd'hui", (EY, v. V, p. 110-111).

Author of the Dictionnaire Historique et Critique, one of the models for the Encyclopédie, Bayle is cited for his method of heaping one teaching on top of the other without imposing a teaching of "truth" or worse perhaps even seeing one. Bayle is characterized as the enemy of all religions:

"Ennemi de toutes les sectes et de toutes les religions, il n'en admit aucune, les combattit toutes, sans respecter davantage la vérité que l'erreur. Il s'attacha à mettre la raison & la réligion dans une contradiction perpetuelle, pour renverser l'une par l'autre, insinuant qu'elles ne sont toutes deux que des chimères qu'il suffit de mettre en contraste pour les voir s'entredétruire", (Ibid., p. 111)

21. This enemy of religion is marked as the precurser to the philosophes both in his procedures and in the goal of his erudition, which placed reason and religion in a state of perpetual contradiction, resulting in their reciprocal destruction. Adopted by the philosophes as a precursor, the author of this article takes the opportunity to attack philosophie through Bayle is taken, as well as the occasion to redress the wrongs against the term philosopher:

" Personne n'est moins philosophe que Bayle, ou la philsoophie est la mère de l'inconséquence & du caprice. Il dit le oui & le non sur tous les points dont il parle, ou plutot il les embrouille d'une telle sorte qu'on ne sait plus à quoi s'entenir... & pour des verites primitives n'est qu'un tissu de mensonges & d'impostures; & si l'on peut dire que ce genie, monstrueux en tout genre, penché vers quelque secte, c'est sans contredit le manichéisme, qu'il favorise, déisme, l'athéisme & le pyrrhonisme", (Ibid., p.111).

Bayle is painted with the brush of the worst of the heretics from the past (manichéisme, pyrrhonisme) to the present (déisme, athéisme). The articles about the Basnage brothers are not particularly remarkable in and of themselves, but when seen in contrast with the article on Bayle, the plan of the Yverdon encyclopedists is revealed yet again. Their works are cited as being reliable and solid, if not belonging to the top tier of scholarly writing, mainly for reasons of style:

" Basnage, Jacques, ne a Rouen en 1653, Reforme, Pasteur a la Haye, plus propre à être Ministre d'Etat que d'une Paroisse. De tous ses livres, son Histoire des Juifs, celle de l'Eglise, sont les plus estimés... Tous ses Ouvrages, sans être mis au rang des livres du premier ordre, sont estimés", (EY, v. IV, p. 725).

The Yverdon encyclopedists also use this article on Basnage to point out the frivoloties of "La République des Lettres" that blocks the circulation of the truth for reasons of personal gain and pettiness:

"M. La Croze critiqua bien durement son Histoire des Juifs, dans les Entretiens sur divers sujets d'Histoire, qu'il publia en 1711. On pretend que cela venoit du mécontentement que lui avoit donné M. de Beauval, frère de M. Basnage, en ne parlant pas assez avantageusement de ses Ouvrages dans son Journal. C'est ainsi que les gens de lettres qui devroient etre les interprètes sacrés & les defenseurs incorruptibles de la vérité, la sacrifient presque toujours à leurs vues interessées, à leur vengeance & à un esprit de parti qui finit toujours par les deshonnorer", (Ibid., p. 725).

22. Further research continues to turn up figures who could be added to this picture of the seventeenth century, such as the Dutch Arminian theologian Philippe de Limborch whose work on the Inquisition is cited in the article "Hussites," or another famous Arminian, the jurist Hugo Grotius, whose work was greatly admired by the Yverdon encyclopedists; both Limborch and Grotius have new articles in the Encyclopédie d'Yverdon as can be seen by consulting Table I.
Our assessment of the eighteenth-century representation and discussion of heresy in the two encyclopedias brings us to the articles "Hérésiarque," "Hérésie," and "Hérétique," in the Encyclopédie d'Yverdon, none of which is signed. The article "Hérésiarque," defines the heresiarque as the author of a particular heresy, or the head of a heretical sect, followed by a cross-reference to the article "Hérétique." The heretics listed are Cerinthe, Ebion, Basilides, Valentin, Marcion, Montan, Manes, Arius, Macedonius, Sabelius, Pélage, Nestorius, Eatyches, Socin, etc, but a comparison with the article in the Encyclopédie reveals an important difference.
To the list of heretics mentioned in the Encyclopédie d'Yverdon article, seven have been added. Their names appear in italics that we have added to the following citation:

"Hérésiarque (Théolog) premier auteur d'une hérésie, ou le chef d'une secte hérétique. Les principaux hérésiarques ont été Cérinthe, Ebion, Basilides, Valentin, Marcion, Montan, Manes, Arius, Macedonius, Sabelius, Pélage, Nestorius, Eatyches, Berenger, Wiclef, Jean Hus & Jerome de Prague, Luther, Calvin, Zuingle, Servet, Socin, Fox etc.", (Encyclopédie, VIII, 158)

In the Yverdon encyclopedia, Berenger, Wyclif, Jean Hus, Jérome de Prague, Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, and Servet have been removed from the ranks of the heretics. Although we have not dwelt on these figures in this article, all of them or their followers have either new or rewritten articles in the Encyclopédie d'Yverdon as can be seen by consulting Table I[21].
The articles "Hérésie" and "Hérétique need to be read together as one, since they present what is probably a composite picture of this encyclopediass position on heresy. Both encyclopedias defind heresy as having changed in meaning from a positive term to a negative one. The Yverdon encyclopedists describe the heretic as a reasonalbe skeptic, akin to Descartes in his consideration and weighing of all assertions before commiting to one. The first paragraph of the article "Hérésie", defines the term after telling the reader that the word derives from the Greek word for "choix":

"C'est un de ces termes qui ont été pris originairement en bonne part, come ceux de sceptique, de tyran, de dévot ou piétiste, &c. Tout homme raisonnable doit incontestablement être d'abord sceptique, & ensuite hérétique; c'est-à-dire, qu'après avoir revoqué en doute, à l'exemple de Descartes, tout ce don't il n'a encore pu acquérir la certitude, il doit considerer & peser les différentes assertions, & choisir celles qui lui paroissent préférables, ou comme démontrées, ou du moins comme ayant un plus grand degree de probabilité", (EY, v. XXIII, pp. 142-143)

23. Instead, the article claims, theologians have preferred to limit the meaning of heretic to those who express ideas relative to objects of faith and religion in a way that does not conform to the established and dominant system. It is from this perspective, then, that they are called upon to consider the term heresy.
The article calls for setting the boundaries of heresy to include 1) only that which opposes scripture and 2) cases where Scripture has expressed itself on the subject in question in such a way that there is no room for doubt or opposition. However, the article goes on to say that theologians have never tried to establish boundaries for a definition of heresy, preferring to extend them, or worse, even destroy them in order to be the masters of hatefully qualifying as heretics anyone who had somehow become the object of their hate whom they wanted to turn into the object of their resentment.
The author attributes all of the problems of the Church to attempts to stamp out heresy. This position is not too far from that of Jaucourt's in the articles on heresy written for the Encyclopédie with the difference, of course, that he is only concerned with Catholic orthodoxy and thus blind to the kind of inquisitorial authority that John Calvin had used to put Michel Servet to death. Jaucourt's article is specifically geared to the French monarchy and the religions of war that tore France apart in the sixteenth century. He also makes clear that he is not providing an apology for heresy:

"A Dieu ne plaise qu'on prétende faire ici l'apologie des hérésies, ou désireroit au contraire que les Chrétiens n'eussent qu'une même foi; mais puisque la chose n'est pas possible, on voudroit du moins qu'à l'exemple de leur Saveur, ils fussent remplis les uns pour les autres de bienveillance et de charité. Le malheur de ce royaume en particulier, à voulu qu'on fût divisé depuis plus de 200 ans sur les dogmes de créance, & l'un des articles du serment de nos rois est de détruire les hérésies; mais comme ce mot n'est point défini & que d'ailleurs on ne sauroit trop en restraindre le sens, ce n'est pas à due que pour parvenir à cette extirpation, le prince y doive procéder avec violence, contre la foi public, et rompre l'amour, la sûreté, la protection qu'il doit à ses sujets pour le bien de l'état", (Encyclopédie, v. VIII, p.158).

Jaucourt wants French kings to be more concerned about maintaining peace in the kingdom than stamping out heresy:

"Il n'y a point de serment qui puisse être contraire aux commandemens de Dieu, et nos rois ne jurent l'article de la destruction de l'hérésie, qu'après avoir juré un autre article que le précède, par lequel ils promettent de conserver inviolablement la paix dans leur royaume. Ce premier serment règle tous les autres, & par conséquent emporte avec lui la douceur et la tolérance", (ibid.).

24. Jaucourt's narrow view of heresy and his simplistic call at the end of the article for peace, mildness, and tolerance with no real proposal of how to institute them, nor any real analysis of how, among contemporaries, heretics are formed arise and how they should be treated constitutes an ideal example of what the Yverdon encyclopedists saw as empty philosophie that provided no real solutions. The Encyclopédie d'Yverdon instead asks the reader to consider the position of the purported heretic and the origin of his ideas. The author even constructs what we might call the mother's milk defense of the heretic in an appeal to the reasonable person to see the heretic as a human being:

"Quiconque est né dans une secte que la religion dominante reprouve, a sucé l'hérésie avec le lait; et de la maniere dont presque tous les hommes sont faits, il y a une impossibilité morale de rectifier les opinions une fois admises et enracinées, en suivant toutes les operations de discussion et d'examen qui seroient necessaires pour y réussir", (EY, vol. XXIII p.143) .

The author continues by describing the mechanism by which heresy is persecuted, unpacking step by step procedures that might be adopted for dealing with heretics. Once the heretic has been identified for punishment, the author tells us that we enter a labyrinth without exit. Once we begin to persecute and decry those who have been judged to be infected with heresy, we embitter them and alienate them. Since they are men, he says, they are subject to the same passions as their adversaries. They react to accusations of heresy and it is only a short distance from the first sparks to a full blown blaze.
The author then attempts to establish some order in the thought process that should prevail in such situations. A church has declared itself orthodox and even universal, which means that it believes that all of its dogma, morals, and practices conform the best to Holy Scripture. This church has the right to insist on being refered to as orthodox and universal by those who want to belong to its spiritual body and take advantage of the temporal and spiritual gains that such membership may confer. But if the rights of such a church extend that far, should it go farther and have the legal power over any other civil or religious institution that has declared itself equally orthodox and universal.

25. The author compares this situation to two political bodies, empires or kingdoms that neither hate nor harass each other solely because they have different laws and customs and have different names. Here he critiques human nature's tendency to hate those who do not share the same ideas, blaming the origin of national pride on this flaw of human nature. This pride and its effects are related to something he calls ecclesiastecal pride, which he defines as the father of all heresy. He tells us that even a mediocre effort of reason is enough to convince us 1) that everyone has an inalienable right to think freely, and 2) that a society that has produced a moral individual has the right to impose conformity to its ideals in the way ideas are expressed because in return, the individual reaps the advantages of belonging to its body. This is essential for good order and peace. The sovereign has the right to impose his authority in this matter, but not to institutionalize dogma or worship. It is possible that more than one church has been given the right to exist within the borders of a particular state or ecclesiastical jurisdiction. If this is the case, each church has the right to exist.
But if we still must identify heretics, then let us talk about the individual who grew up as part of a particular church, but changes ideas and sentiments. He adopts other doctrines or invents them. If he keeps them to himself, it is a non-event, since he is merely exercising his essential freedom of thought. If he speaks of these things discretely, with friends and family, and those he has in confidence, there is no cause to jump to the rigors of the inquisition and cause a scandal, which is always the biggest of all evils. If he begins to proselytize, then public peace is threatened and those who must maintain public order have the right to exercise it, but they should always follow the law of prudence. One should remind such an individual of his position and show him that he does not have the right to act in this manner, and require him to declare his intentions. If he persists, then the punishment can be meted out.
Reminiscent of Rousseau's Social Contract, heresy is viewed as a local phenomenon to be dealt with, one that will rarely be punished if all routes of moderation and gentleness are followed. It is at this point, the author states, that the limits of tolerance are touched. Here the author attacks Voltaire and the philosophes criticizing them for recommending tolerence, but accusing them for not understanding it, and for substituting it with reckless license and complete impunity, resulting in disorder. The author warns against societies where anyone can attack what the society respects the most.

26. The problem of societies and men who are imbued with the opinion that there are neither rules nor limits and that one obeys only by force, awaiting the most favorable occasions to oveturn all barriers and allow themselves all excess, is a perspective that in the view of the Yverdon encyclopedist posed a threat. Indeed, the author claims, the philosophes have passed from one extreme to the other, the new extreme being the irreligion of philosophie. At one time, he tells us, superstition created heretics, sharpened knives, and lit inquisitorial fires; today irreligion threatens humanity with the same dangers by whitewashing what is the blackest and most atrocious, and by conceiving of the human race as having "one single head so that it might be chopped off in a single blow."
This imputation against the philosophes as the new heretics whose ideas, methods, and practices are just as dangerous as those of Catholic orthodoxy in their establishment of an new orthodoxy philosophique constitutes a stunning rejoinder both to Jaucourt's entire article on heresy and his empty plea for toleration as well as to Voltaire who is again criticized for his pronouncements on rights without defining what they are.
It is ultimately this position against the philosophes that makes the Encyclopédie d'Yverdon its own machine de guerre, but one that is pointed against what has become the orthodoxy of philosophie, a claim not at all unlike the one levied against the French Enlightenment by Adorno and Horkheimer after World War II: the Enlightenment had failed to be self-critical[22].
We might ask ourselves though what doctrine or philosophy undergirded Yverdon encyclopedists position beyond their apology for enlightened Protestantism and what they were ultimately proposing to a late-eighteenth century European audience. The answer is to be found in the teachings of Christian Wolff (1679-1754) who had argued for the "middle ground between the pure truths of revelation and those of reason, where reason can be used in support of revelation"[23].
Fredrick the Great had been responsible for calling Wolff to Halle to establish religious tolerance throughout Prussia despite problems with the Pietists who had kept enlightened thinkers from the professoriate. Among the contributers to the Encyclopédie d'Yverdon who wrote anonymously from Potsdam was Jean Henri Samuel Formey, a transplanted Huguenot pastor who was the perpetual secretary to Fredrick the Great's Academy of Sciences and a strong proponent of Wolff. He penned many of the unsigned articles pertaining to religion and was a proclaimed Wolfien[23]. Wolff's insistence on the tenets of reason and revelation provided guidance to the Yverdon encyclopedists in matters of religion and ecclesiastical history that explain their position on Hus, Luther, Waldo and the rest whose principal flaw in the eyes of orthodoxy was the application of reason to matters of religion. Although more work is needed to further uncover the presence of Wolff and his ideas in the Encyclopédie d'Yverdon, the Yverdon encyclopedists' position on heresy constitutes a solid foundation for future research. Moreover, this comparative sampling of articles provides us with concrete examples of the differences between the Encyclopédie and the Encyclopédie d'Yverdon that make it possible to articulate the views of both sets of encyclopedists in ways that bring us closer to a true understanding of different views of enlightenment over a highly contested issue.


 

[*] A version of this paper is being published in the collection Histories of Heresy, ed. John Christian Laursen, New York, Palgrave, 2002.

[1] Two translations of the Encyclopédie were produced in Italy, the Lucca folio edition, 1758-1776 and the Leghorn folio edition 1770-1778. The Yverdon edition, Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire universel raisonné des connoissances humaines, ed. F. B. de Félice. Text: I-XLII; Supplément: I-VI; Tables: I-X, Yverdon, 1770-1780, succeeded in a thorough overhall of the Encyclopédie, whereas the Italian editions did not.

[2] This is not to be read as a critique of Darnton, but instead as recognition of the state of scholarship on "other" faces of the Enlightenment even as late as the end of the 1970s. On the contrary, Darnton's own bestseller on the eighteenth-century publishing trade prepared the terrain for in-depth work on the many encyclopedias he discusses, piquing scholarly interest to go beyond the commercial data and market analysis to the content of the articles themselves to determine the intellectual positions that are truly at the basis of the differences separating all of these compilations and in our particular situation, those separating the Encyclopédie from the Encyclopédie d'Yverdon.

[3] Encyclopédie, ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts, et des métiers, (articles choisis), 2 vols. Garnier Flammarion, Paris, 1986; "Aigle", I, 233-224 and "Capuchon," I, 287-288.

[4] Voltaire's Correspondence, ed.Theodore Besterman, Genève, 1962, LXXVII, p.163, n.15807.

[5] See Darnton cit., p. 20: "...the Encyclopédie d'Yverdon had a good reputation in the eighteenth-century, and not only in pietistic corners of Germany and Holland."

[6] Frank A. Kafker and Serena L. Kafker, The Encyclopedists as individuals: a biographical dictionary of the authors of the `Encyclopédie', Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century, 287, p. xi, Oxford, 1988.

[7] The cd-rom edition of this database will be available next year from the Centre International d'Etude du XVVIIIe Siècle, Ferney-Voltaire.

[8] Charles Guyot, Le Rayonnement de l'`Encyclopédie' en Suisse Romande, Neuchâtel, 1955.

[9] Martin Muslow, "The Trinity as Heresy," in Histories of Heresy in Early Modern Europe, ed. John Christian Laursen, New York, Palgrave (expected 2002).

[10] There is a new, 5.5 column article on Brescia in Encyclopédie d'Yverdon. Brescia was home to Arnaud de Brescia, a twelfth-century heretic involved with the sect known as the Patarines in Italy and the Publicains in France.

[11] See Joseph Gorani, "Aventures d'un homme célèbre", in Mémoires secrets et critiques des cours, vol. 1, p. 321-328.

[12] Carloantonio Pilati, Di una riiforma d'Italia, 1767.

[13] Voltaire's Correspondence cit., n. 14699.

[14] See my "From Switzerland to Europe through Leipzig: The Swiss Book Trade and the Leipziger Messe 1770-1780" in Leipziger Jahrbuch zur Buchgeschichte, 4, 1994, pp. 103-133, for a discussion of the marketing and sales history of the Yverdon encyclopedia based upon the Leipzig book fair catalogues and the archives of the Société Typographique de Neuchâtel.

[15] The Correspondence between Albrecht von Haller and Charles Bonnet, ed. Otto Sonntag, Huber 1983.

[16] Charly Guyot, Le rayonnement de l'Encyclopédie en Suisse Française, Neuchâtel 1955, p.104.

[17] John Davies, A History of Europe, Oxford, 1995, p.496.

[18] Both encyclopedias discuss the Waldensiens in their articles "Albigeois," and to estalish a geneology whereby the two groups become one and the same at some point, even though the two groups were quite different. Because of the tendency to conflate them in these encyclopedia articles, we will consider opinions pronounced about them as being the same.

[19] See Harold O. J. Brown, Heresies: The Image of Christ in the Mirror of Heresy and Orthodoxy from the Apostles to the Present, New York, 1984, pp. 261-262: "From Luther onward, Protestants have been quick to recognize and claim their affinity with many that Rome brands heretical, particularly with the Italian Waldensians and the Bohemian Hussites."

[20] See Brown cit., p.313: "Early Protestants, unlike some of the radicals, were not willing to suppose that God ad completely forsaken the church or left himself altogether without witnesses. They saw a continuity between the early chuch and their own day in the isolated but recurrent witness of some of the mystics and some of the groups Catholicism condemned as heretical: the Waldensians and the Hussites, both of which groups quickly rallied to the Reformation when it began".

[21] Berenger, or Berengar of Tours challenged Scholastic authority in the eleventh century in the Eucharist controversy over whether the Eucharist was literally flesh and blood, which did not seem reasonable, or whether this eating, which imparts to us the benefits of the Eucharist, is accomplished through belief in the word of God. Berenger's position called upon man's reason, understanding, and faith in the matter of the Eucharist. Berenger was condemned for his belief and forced to sign a confession and a declaration of his belief in transubstantiation in 1059. "Berengar's eucharistic theory shocked his contemporaries not only because it challenged what had become a major element of Christian piety, the corporeal presence of Christ in the communion, but also because he arrived at it in what seemed an arrogantly rationalistic manner", (Brown cit., pp.244-245). Jérome de Prague's classification as a heretic also revolved around the doctrine of transubstantiation, which Jerome had learned about in Oxford, where he had studied with Wyclif, who advocated the supreme authority of the bible. John Hus learned of Wyclif's teachings through Jérome de Prague and made them his own. Michel Servet or Michael Servetus was put to death by his opponent Jean Calvin over issues of church control: "The unhappy conflict with Servetus and Calvin's ruthless way of dealing with him cast a heavy shadow over Reformed Protestantism, one that has not been totally removed even to the present day. (Brown cit., p.114) This echos the position of Elie Bertrand over the controversy in the article "Jean Calvin" Encyclopédie d'Yverdon.

[22] Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno, Dialectic of Enlightenment, New York, 1972.

[23] O. J. Brown, Heresies cit., p.402.

[24] See my "Jean Samuel Henri Formey and the Encyclopédie d'Yverdon," in Schweizer in Berlin, Berlin 1995.


Table I. New and Rewritten Articles Related to Heresy in the Encyclopédie d'Yverdon

Title of Article
in Encyclopédie d’Yverdon 

Category

Relationship to
Encyclopédie
N=new
R=rewritten
S=same

Country
discussed if applicable

Initials of
Author

Length of
Article in
columns
(quarto edition)

Acte de Foi

Hist Mod

R

Spain

 

0.6

Adamites ou Adamiens

Hist Eccl

R

 

CC

1.8

Albigeois

Géog Mod

N

France

DG

0.1

Albigeois

Hist Eccl

R

   

6.2

Apostasie

Théol Morale

R

 

CC

4.6

Auto da Fé v. Acte de foi

 

S

     

Auto da Fé ou Acte de foi

Hist Mod

R

Spain

 

5.2

Arianism

Hist Eccl

R

 

CC

5.9 (4 renvois)

Berengeriens

Hist Eccl

R

 

CC

1.5

Brescia

Géog

R

Italy

 

5.5

Calvin, Jean

Hist Litt

N

Switz

BC

9.6

Calvinien,

Calvienne

Théol

N

Switz

BC

0.2

Calvinisme

Théol

R

Switz

BC

5.8

Calviniste

Théol

R

 

BC

1.6

Campanella

Phil

S

Italy

 

5.1

Campanella,

Thomas

 

R

Italy

GM

5.1

Cathares

Hist Eccl

R

 

CC

1.3

Confession de Foi

Théol

N

 

CC

1.0

Déisme

Théol

R

 

GM

1.7

Déiste

Phil Théol

R

 

GM

46.0

Démonomanie

Méd

S

 

S

0.9

Démonomanie

Médec

R

 

S

7.8

Dissidents,

Dissidens

Hist Eccl

R

Poland

BC

7.0

Erasme, Didier

Hist Litt

N

Netherlands

 

4.1

Foi

Théol

R

 

GM

80.0

Foi,

Droit Nat & des Gens

N

 

DF

7.3

Foi, la

Myth

R

   

0.3

Exorcisme

Magie

R

 

GM

4.2

Hérésie

Théol 

R

 

CC

4.5

Hussites

Hist Eccl

R

 

DF

4.3

Inquisition

Hist

S

   

8.4

Jansenisme

Hist Eccl

S

   

8.5

Jérome de Prague

Hist Eccl

N

   

0.7

Jesuites, Ordre des

Hist Eccl

R

   

51.9

Limborch, Philippe de

Hist Litt

N

Holland

 

0.6

Lutherien

Théol

N

   

0.1

Luther, Martin

Hist Eccl Mod

R

   

32.4

Magie

Jurisprudence

N

 

MDB

22.4

Malabares, Philosophie

Hist

S

   

11.5

Manichéisme

Hist Eccles

S

   

9.3

Matérialisme

Philosophie

N

 

GM

35.0

Menochius, Jacques

Hist Litt

N

Italy

 

0.3

Nantes, Edit de

Hist Mod

R

 

GM

9.0

Nestoriens

Théol

S

   

4.0

Ochino, Bernardino

Hist Litt

N

Italy

 

2.1

Pape

Hist Eccles

R

 

MDB

49.2

Photiniens

Hist Eccl

S

   

0.6

Polythéisme

Histoire Critique

R

 

MDB

10.8

Possession du démon (Renvoi d’Adjuration, Théol

Théol

N

   

11.1

Primauté du Pape

Hist Eccl

R

 

MDB

1.4

Protestans

Hist Eccl

R

 

GM

7.4

Schisme

Hist Eccl

R

   

4.8

Sociniens

Hist

R

 

GM

7.8

Sorcellerie

Hist des Superstitions

R

   

0.2

Sorciers et Sorcieres

Hist des Superstitions

R

 

MDB

6.0

Sortilège

Magie, Jurisprudence

N

 

MDB

22.4

Unitaires

Hist Eccles

R

 

MDB

3.6

Vampire

Hist des Superstitions

S

   

1.0

Vaudois

Hist Eccl

S

   

3.5

Wiclef, Jean

Hist Eccles & Littérature

R

 

BC

5.0

Wolf, Wolfius, Cristiern ou Chrétien de

Host Litt

N

Germany

DF

3.0

Zuingliens

Hist Eccl

S

   

1.4

 

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