PLACEUS, plâ-sî'us, JOSUA (JOSUÉ DE LA PLACE): French theologian; b. at Saumur (30 m. s.e. of Angers) probably in 1596; d. there Aug. 17, 1665 or 1655. He became pastor at Nantes in 1625 and was professor of theology at his native city from 1633 till his death. Placeus together with M. Amyraut (q.v.) and L. Capellus belong, as followers of John Cameron (q.v.), to that theological movement at Saumur which in contrast with the orthodox school of Sedan sought to moderate the Calvinistic doctrine by emphasizing the ethical and common human elements, without, however, departing from the fundamental principles. From the supreme value of the accountability of every human soul, Placeus especially drew the conclusion against the imputation of Adam's actual sin. In defense of the doctrine that the sin of Adam could be reckoned to his descendants only as mediated by the inherited sinful subjective state he pointed out that Calvin knew nothing of an immediate imputation and that the same was denied by Peter Martyr and Daniel Chamier (q.v.), but did not go so far as to justify himself by the view of Zwingli that hereditary guilt was no more than the guilt of every individual. The national synod of Charenton (1644) under the leadership of Antoine Garissoles (q.v.), representing the over-zealous constituency of Montauban, opposed this assertion by adopting a decree to be subscribed by all pastors and candidates. Placeus issued later his vindication, Disputatio de imputatione primi peccati Adami (Saumur, 1655). The national synod of Loudun, in 1659, withdrew all threatening measures of discipline, but the Zurich orthodoxy did not rest content until in the Formula consensus Helvetici of 1675 it repudiated with Saumurism as a whole the mere "imputation mediate and consequent."
(E. F. KARL MÜLLER.)