Jacob Vernet (29 August 1698, Geneva – 26 March 1789, Geneva) was a prominent theologian in Geneva, Republic of Geneva, who believed in a rationalist approach to religion. He was called "the most important and influential Genevan pastor of his day".
Geneva is the second-most populous city in Switzerland and the most populous city of Romandy, the French-speaking part of Switzerland. Situated where the Rhône exits Lake Geneva, it is the capital of the Republic and Canton of Geneva.
Vernet was born in 1698. He was taught by Jean-Alphonse Turrettini, and was consecrated as a pastor in 1722.In 1722 he went to Paris as tutor for the children of a wealthy family, a post he held for nine years, and it was here that he entered into discussions with the French philosophes .
Jean-Alphonse Turrettini was a theologian from the Republic of Geneva.
Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, diplomacy, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts.
The philosophes were the intellectuals of the 18th-century Enlightenment. Few were primarily philosophers; rather, philosophes were public intellectuals who applied reason to the study of many areas of learning, including philosophy, history, science, politics, economics, and social issues. They had a critical eye and looked for weaknesses and failures that needed improvement. They promoted a "republic of letters" that crossed national boundaries and allowed intellectuals to freely exchange books and ideas. Most philosophes were men, but some were women.
In 1728 he took his charge to Italy, where he met Lodovico Muratori, Montesquieu and the economist John Law, and to Holland where he met several of the Collegialists and Jean Barbeyrac, a prominent advocate of Moderation.
Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu, generally referred to as simply Montesquieu, was a French judge, man of letters, and political philosopher.
John Law was a Scottish economist who believed that money was only a means of exchange that did not constitute wealth in itself and that national wealth depended on trade. He was appointed Controller General of Finances of France under the Duke of Orleans, who served as regent for the youthful king, Louis XV.
Jean Barbeyrac was a French jurist.
Vernet returned to Geneva in 1730 to become pastor of a parish in Jussy. He became the tutor of Turrentin's son, whom he took on a tour in 1732 of Switzerland, Germany, Holland, England and France. In Marburg he met the philosopher Christian Wolff, later describing him as someone "who inspired moderation in his disciples". He was impressed in the four months he spent in England by the moderation in religion and freedom in government that he found in that country. Back in Geneva, Vernet became pastor at St. Pierre and St. Gervais in 1734, and rector of the academy in 1737.
Jussy is a municipality of the Canton of Geneva, Switzerland. The historical Chateau Du Crest is located here.
Marburg is a university town in the German federal state (Bundesland) of Hesse, capital of the Marburg-Biedenkopf district (Landkreis). The town area spreads along the valley of the river Lahn and has a population of approximately 72,000.
Christian Wolff was a German philosopher. Wolff was the most eminent German philosopher between Leibniz and Kant. His main achievement was a complete oeuvre on almost every scholarly subject of his time, displayed and unfolded according to his demonstrative-deductive, mathematical method, which perhaps represents the peak of Enlightenment rationality in Germany.
In 1739 he became a professor of Belles Lettres, and in 1756 a professor of Theology.Vernet was close to the highest levels of government in Geneva. In 1734 he published "Relation des affaires de Geneve", strongly biased towards the patrician regime that governed the city, praising them for their concern to do good for the public and their wise administration of finances. He did not believe that the people needed to control the government to be free, as long as government was placed in good hands.
Vernet first met Voltaire in Paris in 1733, and entered into a correspondence in which they discussed publication of Voltaire's works in Geneva. After Voltaire moved to Geneva in 1754, the two men soon quarrelled over several subjects, and as the controversy became public the Syndics were involved in moderating the dispute. When D'Alembert visited Geneva to collect material for an encyclopedia article on the city, he stayed with Voltaire, but was assisted by Vernet who provided much material on the city's history and government.
François-Marie Arouet, known by his nom de plumeVoltaire, was a French Enlightenment writer, historian and philosopher famous for his wit, his criticism of Christianity, especially the Roman Catholic Church, and his advocacy of freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and separation of church and state.
In 1754 Rousseau wrote to Vernet about being readmitted to the church of Geneva.In 1758 Vernet praised Rousseau for recognizing that "in a state constitution everything is connected". When a controversy arose over D'Alembert's article on Geneva, Rousseau supported Geneva's pastors. The article suggested that the Geneva clergymen including Vernet, Jacob Vernes and others had moved from Calvinism to pure Socinianism. The Pastors of Geneva were indignant, and appointed a committee to answer these charges. Under pressure, d'Alembert eventually made the excuse that he considered anyone who did not accept the Church of Rome to be a Socinianist, and that was all he meant. The relationship with Rousseau broke down when Rousseau published his Contrat Social and his attack on revealed religion in Emile: or, On Education , both in 1762. Vernet played a leading role in having both these works condemned in Geneva.
Vernet was inspired by Descartes's philosophy, English moderation and Arminian theology.Searching for a middle way between extremes, he wrote that "the middle way ... constitutes the true religion". Vernet followed Turretin's approach of advocating reasonable faith, and felt that no aspect of theology should be objectionable to a Deist or Atheist. He refused to speculate over mysteries such as predestination, reprobation or the nature of the Trinity. His major work was a French edition of Turrentin's Latin theses on the Christian religion, which is designed to show that the faith is aligned with reason. He considered that a "heathen in Africa" could be saved without ever hearing of Christ if he responded to the revelation that God had given him in his nature and his conscience.
Vernet believed that God wanted man to obey the Creator and do good of his own free will, and thought that the path to virtue was open to everyone.In his "Instruction chretienne", intended as a theological primer, he attempted to present a simplified view of the faith and thus reduce dissent between different sects. He was against the precision of Reformed scholasticism, which he felt led to divisions. He said that the major goal of the truly religious person was to honor God as the supreme and infinitely wise master of the universe, and in the process religion would lead to personal happiness. He did not however consider that the choice of one's religion was unimportant, since he felt that only Christianity was based on reasonable standards.
Denis Diderot was a French philosopher, art critic, and writer, best known for serving as co-founder, chief editor, and contributor to the Encyclopédie along with Jean le Rond d'Alembert. He was a prominent figure during the Enlightenment.
Jean-Baptiste le Rond d'Alembert was a French mathematician, mechanician, physicist, philosopher, and music theorist. Until 1759 he was co-editor with Denis Diderot of the Encyclopédie. D'Alembert's formula for obtaining solutions to the wave equation is named after him. The wave equation is sometimes referred to as d'Alembert's equation.
Paul-Henri Thiry, Baron d'Holbach, was a French-German author, philosopher, encyclopedist and prominent figure in the French Enlightenment. He was born Paul Heinrich Dietrich in Edesheim, near Landau in the Rhenish Palatinate, but lived and worked mainly in Paris, where he kept a salon. He was well known for his atheism and for his voluminous writings against religion, the most famous of them being The System of Nature (1770).
Jean François de Saint-Lambert was a French poet, philosopher and military officer.
Marie Huber was a Genevan writer on theology and related subjects, as well as a translator and editor, at a time when it was rare for a female writer to write about theology.
Jean de Labadie was a 17th-century French pietist. Originally a Roman Catholic Jesuit priest, he became a member of the Reformed Church in 1650, before founding the community which became known as the Labadists in 1669. At its height the movement numbered around 600 with thousands of adherents further afield. It attracted some notable female converts such as the famed poet and scholar, Anna Maria van Schurman, and the entomological artist Maria Merian.
Charles de Brosses, comte de Tournay, baron de Montfalcon, seigneur de Vezins et de Prevessin, was a French writer of the 18th century.
18th-century French literature is French literature written between 1715, the year of the death of King Louis XIV of France, and 1798, the year of the coup d'État of Bonaparte which brought the Consulate to power, concluded the French Revolution, and began the modern era of French history. This century of enormous economic, social, intellectual and political transformation produced two important literary and philosophical movements: during what became known as the Age of Enlightenment, the Philosophes questioned all existing institutions, including the church and state, and applied rationalism and scientific analysis to society; and a very different movement, which emerged in reaction to the first movement; the beginnings of Romanticism, which exalted the role of emotion in art and life.
Louis-Élisabeth de la Vergne, comte de Tressan was a French soldier, physician, scientist, medievalist and writer, best known for his adaptations of "romans chevaleresques" of the Middle Ages, which contributed to the rise of the Troubadour style in the French arts.
Antoine-Jacques Roustan was a Genevan pastor and theologian, who engaged in an extensive correspondence with Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Unlike Rousseau, he believed that a Christian republic was practical - that the Christian religion was not incompatible with patriotism or republicanism.
Jacob Vernes was a Genevan theologian and Protestant pastor in Geneva, famous for his correspondence with Voltaire and Rousseau.
Marc-Michel Rey was an influential publisher in the United Provinces, who published many of the works of the French philosophes, including Jean-Jacques Rousseau. In his day, he was the largest and most important publisher in the French language in the United Provinces.
The Abbé Claude Yvon was a French encyclopédiste, a savant who contributed to the Encyclopédie edited by Denis Diderot and Jean le Rond d'Alembert.
Bernard Cottret, born in 1951 at Boulogne-Billancourt near Paris, is a French Historian and literary scholar.
Questions sur les Miracles, also known as Lettres sur les Miracles is a publication by the French philosopher and author Voltaire, written in 1765 and first published as a series of imagined letters by various people.
Augustin-Louis, marquis de Ximénès was an 18th-century French poet and playwright.
Joseph de La Porte, was an 18th-century French priest, literary critic, poet and playwright.
Protestant scholasticism was academic theology practiced by Protestant theologians using the scholastic method during the era of Calvinist and Lutheran orthodoxy from the 16th to 18th centuries. Protestant scholasticism developed out of the need to clearly define and defend church doctrine against the Catholic Church and other Protestant churches. It refers to both Lutheran scholasticism and Reformed scholasticism. Anglicanism never developed a scholastic theology; however, Anglican writers in the 1600s studied early Christian writings to prove that Anglicanism had faithfully followed the teachings and practices of the early Church.
Antoine Maurice, I (fr)
Louis Tronchin (II)
| Chair of theology at the Genevan Academy |
With: Louis Tronchin (II)(1756)
Antoine Maurice, II (fr) (1756-1786)
Jacques-André Trembley (1756-1763)
David Claparède (1763-1786)
Antoine Maurice, II (fr)