June 12, 1797, Ouchy, Lausanne, Switzerland.
May 10, 1847, Clarens, Montreux, Switzerland.
Alexandre was the son of Marc Vinet (secretary of the Vaudois department of the interior) and Jeanne-Etiennette Baud, and husband of Sophie-Germaine-Auguste de La Rottaz (married 1819).
At age 20, he was appointed professor of the French language at the gymnasium in Basle, a position he held, with some work for the university, for 20 years.
In 1819, he was called to the ministry. At first opposed to the movement of the Réveil, a deeper knowledge of its principles and sympathy with the persecution of its leaders drew him to the movement. He wrote fearlessly in defense of toleration (Du respect des opinions, 1824), freedom of worship (Mémoire en faveur de la liberté des cultes, 1826), and the separation of church and state (Essai sur la manifestation des convictions religieuses, et sur la separation de l’Église et de l’État, 1842).
In 1837, Vinet was recalled to Lausanne to occupy the
chaire de théologie in the Academy. He resigned the chair in 1840, though, withdrawing at the same time from the national church. He took a prominent part in the preliminary committees for the formation of the
Église libre du Canton de Vaud, but was compelled to withdraw from the discussions by failing health, and his proposals were largely modified in its final constitution, to his deep regret.
Vinet’s other works include:
Vinet’s burial place