Athanase Coquerel, the son (1820-1875)

The founder of the Protestant Liberal Union

  • Athanase Coquerel, son © S.H.P.F.

The son of Athanase Coquerel, he began his ministry in Nîmes.

In 1848, he was appointed as chaplain at the Lycée Henri IV in Paris, and was to become the favourite preacher of the liberal movement. Though not considered an extremist among liberals, he was radically opposed to the principle of obligatory confessions of faith. He did not admit the divinity of Jesus, and he saw religion mainly as a sphere of moral growth marked by the mercy of Jesus.

He was to play an essential part in the severe 1864 crisis between liberals and evangelicals : as he had let extremist pastors such as Colani or Réville preach from his pulpit, the Consistory, made up mostly of evangelicals, did not renew his suffragance. This remarkable preacher refused to set up an independent Church ; nevertheless he continued to preach in halls rented by the Union protestante libérale which he had founded in 1861. Very well-read, a member of the SHPF committee, he was one of the outstanding figures of protestant intellectual circles in Paris.


  • Books
    • CABANEL Patrick et ENCREVE André , Dictionnaire biographique des protestants français, de 1787 à nos jours, Editions de Paris - Max Chaleil, Paris, 2015, Tome 1 : A-C

Associated notes