The founder of the Protestant Liberal Union
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.
- 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
Theological liberalism was characterised by its extended freedom in doctrinal matters and by a new approach to the Bible resulting from the historical-critical methods of reading.
The 19th century revival movement took shape within the context of romanticism. Its piety is of a more existential and sentimental nature, a piety « revived » when compared to a faith considered dull and routine-like.
Athanase Coquerel (1795-1868)
Timothée Colani (1824-1888)
Albert Réville (1826-1906)
François Puaux (1806-1895)
Frédéric Lichtenberger (1832-1899)
Frédéric Lichtenberger was a Lutheran pastor at the Faculty of Theology in Strasbourg until the annexation of Alsace. He was Dean of the Faculty of Theology in Paris ; he was known as an evangelical and he strived for reconciliation between the two opposing trends of French Protestantism.