(variants of the name include Waldensians; Wadoys; Valdesii; Vaudes; Vaudois). The Waldensian Ch. grew out of fusion of the work of P. Waldo* with movements of Arnold* of Brescia, P. de Bruys,* and others; banned by pope repeatedly; object of repeated crusades; under vicious persecution by the Inquisition*; driven from their homes. Granted civil and religious liberty 1848 by Charles Albert of Sardinia (Carlo Alberto; 17981849; b. Turin, It.; king of Sardinia 183149).
Waldenses rejected purgatory, masses for the dead, indulgences, prayers to saints, RC eucharist and hierarchy. Known for preaching, miss. zeal, Bible knowledge. Beginning at the time of the Reformation, they merged into Prot. groups. The 1655 Confession of the Waldenses, A Brief Confession of Faith of the Reformed Churches of Piedmont, is in part an abridgment of the 1559 Gallican Confession (see Reformed Confessions, B).
J. J. I. v. Döllinger, Beiträge zur Sektengeschichte des Mittelalters, 2 vols. (Munich, 1890); F. Bender, Geschichte der Waldenser (Ulm, 1850); H. C. Sartorio, A Brief History of the Waldensians (New York, 1921); K.-V. Selge, Die ersten Waldenser, 2 vols. (Berlin, 1967); G. B. Watts, The Waldenses of Valdese (Valdese, North Carolina, 1965).
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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