Vinet, Alexandre Rodolphe [key], 1797–1847, Swiss Protestant theologian and historian of literature. In 1817 he became professor of French language and literature at Basel, and in 1819 he was ordained into the Reformed ministry. His reputation as an intellectual leader among French Protestants was soon established, and at the same time he won distinction by the fine quality of his critical literary studies. He was made (1837) professor of theology at the Academy of Lausanne. Liberty of conscience and separation of church and state were advocated in his Mémoire en faveur de la liberté des cultes (1826) and other works. In 1845, Protestant liberties were curbed in the canton of Vaud; Vinet soon resigned his professorship and joined the secession in the Free Church of Vaud. His works include Chrestomathie française (3 vol., 1829–30) and a number of writings published posthumously from notes of his courses—Études sur Blaise Pascal (1848), Études sur la littérature française au XIXème siècle (3 vol., 1849–51), Histoire de la littérature française au dix-huitième siècle (1853, tr. 1854, repr. 1970), Moralistes de XVIème et XVIIème siècles (1859), and Poètes du siècle de Louis XIV (1861).
See study by P. T. Fuhrmann (1964).
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