Alexandre Rodolphe Vinet, was a Swiss critic and theologian. He was born near Lausanne in Switzerland. Educated for the Protestant ministry, he was ordained in 1819, when already teacher of the French language and literature in the gymnasium at Basel; and throughout his life he was as much a critic as a theologian. His literary criticism brought him into contact with Augustin Sainte-Beuve, for whom he obtained an invitation to lecture at Lausanne, which led to his famous work on Port-Royal. Accordingly, when in 1845 the civil power in the canton of Vaud interfered with the church's autonomy, he led a secession which took the name of L'Église libre. But already from 1831, when he published his Discours sur quelques sujets religieux, he had begun to exert a liberalizing and deepening influence on religious thought far beyond his own canton, by bringing traditional doctrine to the test of a living personal experience. In this he resembled FW Robertson, as also in the change which he introduced into pulpit style and in the permanence of his influence. Vinet died at Clarens. A considerable part of his work was not printed till after his death.