How does one become ‘righteous among the Nations’? In the case of Henri Nick (1868-1954) and André Trocmé (1901-1971), two French Protestant pastors who received the title for their acts of solidarity toward persecuted Jews, it was because they had been immersed, from an early age, in the discourses and practices of social Christianity. Focussing on the lives of these two remarkable figures of twentieth-century Christianity, Revivalism and Social Christianity is the first study in English on the Social Gospel in French Protestantism.
Chalamet presents a genealogy of the movement, from its emergence in the last decades of the nineteenth century to its high point during World War II, in Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, where Trocmé and many local people rescued hundreds of Jewish refugees. As social Christians who prayed and worked for the coming of God’s kingdom on earth in the midst of a society ravaged by two world wars, Henri Nick and André Trocmé combined a deep revivalist faith with a concern for the concrete conditions in which people live.
List of Images and Map
Part 1. The Meanings of Conversion – Henri Nick
Part 2. André Trocmé’s First Steps in Spiritual and Social Christianity
Part 3. The “Conspiracy of Good” in Le Chambon-sur-Lignon
Part 4. After the War
Appendix: Declaration Read by Pastors André Trocmé and Édouard Theis in the Church of Le Chambon on Sunday, June 23, 1940
Endorsements and Reviews
People marvel that the folk at Le Chambon took in the Jews. But what Chalamet helps us see is this did not come out of the blue. Rather, this was made possible by people such as Henri Nick and Jacques Kaltenbach, whose discovery of the social dimensions of the Gospel made the actions of Trocmé possible. The implications are clear: heroism is the outworking of lives that never appear heroic.
Stanley Hauerwas, Professor of Theological Ethics, Duke Divinity School
Based on original archival research, Chalamet richly fills in the background of the famous events at Le Chambon, where the Christian community, led by André Trocmé, saved the lives of thousands of Jewish children during the Nazi occupation of France. Nonviolent social action and spirituality were forged in a crucible of courage and suffering to produce a new and compelling version of the Social Gospel.
George Hunsinger, Professor of Systematic Theology, Princeton Theological Seminar