1799-1847
portrait

June 12, 1799, Ouchy (near Lausanne), Switzerland.

May 10, 1847.

Vinet’s father, a man of somewhat stern religion, was the village schoolmaster, and held a small appointment in Canton du Vaud. At age 20, Alexandre 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, and married. 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:

  1. Dans l’abime des misères
  2. Oh! pourquoi l’amitié gémirait
  3. Pourquoi reprendre O Père tendre
  4. Roi des anges, louanges
  5. My Savior and My Lord
  6. Sous ton voile d’ignominie

Vinet’s place of death or burial