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Scientific article
English

The foundations of belief and the status of Scripture: Bayle and the issue of examination

Published inReformation & Renaissance review, vol. 14, no. 1, p. 56-69
Publication date2012
Abstract

This article analyses the issue of freely examining the Bible within the thought of Pierre Bayle, a subject which has not been widely studied to date by historians. It begins by placing Bayle's position in the historical context of the controversy between Catholics and Protestants and reaches the conclusion that Bayle dismantled a concept which had been at the very heart of Protestant theology. He does this by developing, in a non-systematic manner, a discourse hich is centred on three elements: the nature of the object studied, the position of the subject who carries out the free scrutiny, and the degree of authority of the Bible. The analysis of this sinuous discourse also allows one to wonder about the fundamental issue of the status of Scripture in Bayle's thought. It shows how he weakens the two preconditions required in Protestant tradition in order to give credence to Scripture, namely its ‘divinity' and its clarity.

Keywords
  • Bible
  • Free enquiry
  • Private judgement
  • Controversy
  • Belief
  • Protestantism
Citation (ISO format)
PITASSI, Maria-Cristina. The foundations of belief and the status of Scripture: Bayle and the issue of examination. In: Reformation & Renaissance review, 2012, vol. 14, n° 1, p. 56–69. doi: 10.1179/1462245913z.0000000004
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Article (Accepted version)
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Identifiers
ISSN of the journal1462-2459
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