CLAUDE, JEAN (1619-1687), a famous French Protestant preacher and controversialist, was born at Sauvetat near Agen, where his father was a Protestant minister. He held for eight years the office of professor of theology in the Protestant college of Nimes ; but in 1661, having opposed a suggestion which was made at a provincial synod for reuniting Catholics and Protestants, he was forbidden to preach in Lower Languedoc. On visiting Paris in order to appeal against this command, he became engaged in a controversy with Bossuet and Arnauld concerning the Eucharist. In 1662 he obtained a post at Montauban similar to that which he had lost ; but after four years he was removed from it also. He next became pastor in Paris, where he continued his controversy with Bossuet. On the revocation of the Edict of Nantes he fled to Holland, and received a pension from the Prince of Orange. He continued to preach occasionally at the Hague till his death.
His principal works are the Reponse aux deux traites irditules La Perpetuite de la Foi de l'Eglise Catholique touchant l'Eucharistie (1665); Reponse au lirre de P. Nowt sur l'Eucharistie (1668); Defense de la Reformation, ou reponse aux prejuges ldgitimes tie Nicole (1678) ; Plaintes des Protestants cruellement opyrimes dens is Royaume de France (1686); (Burros postliumes (Amsterdam, 1688), containing the Traite de la Composition d'un Sermon, which was translated into English in 1778. See biographies by Niceron and Laderize.