a website dedicated to the memory of Adolphe Monod (1802-1856)



Athanase Coquerel the Elder (1795-1868)

Athanase Coquerel, who was a pastor at the Temple de l’Oratoire in Paris at the same time as Adolphe Monod and an arduous advocate of liberal theology, writes in his book Observations pratiques sur la prédication (Practical observations on preaching, 1860), p. 257:

*** Translation of the French original ***

“… To be sure, in all of these examples, art serves faith. Having said this, it is almost unbelievable that some have recently set forth the following principle: the more preaching flourishes in a Church, the less religious life develops in it. This paradox is all the more surprising on behalf of those who appear to want to accredit it because the latest example of outstanding preaching in their line of convictions constitutes a double denial of this strange idea. I refer to the career of Adolphe Monod as a pastor and professor, and his reputation. I do not wish to present myself as his critic or panegyrist. All I want to say is that those who asked him to give up his post as a professor to become a suffragan most certainly were not animated by the fear of pulpit eloquence being considered more important than it should. Also, if ever Christian preaching was the fruit of thoughtful artistry, it was his. It is well known that his most noted sermons were elaborated with great perseverance; he constantly improved them when he went from church to church during his missionary travels. His oratorical delivery was also the result of a very skilful and thoughtful exploitation of the resources of oratorical art, which most certainly did not diminish the power of his convictions …”


back to the main page