Chapter

A Religious Revolution?

Alyssa Goldstein Sepinwall

in The Abbe Gregoire and the French Revolution

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2005 | ISBN: 9780520241800
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520931091 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520241800.003.0006
A Religious Revolution?

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In modern-day France, the involvement of Catholics such as Henri Grégoire in the Revolution has appeared puzzling at best, traitorous at worst. Because of the violent dechristianization of the later Revolution, which saw churches vandalized and royalist priests deported or executed, religion and Revolution have often been seen as sworn enemies. Many secular revolutionaries would not have objected to this depiction; for them, the Church was as much of an obstacle to progress as the monarchy. Moreover, when they used regeneration, they saw it not as a Christian term but as an anti-Christian one. When Grégoire discovered that others did not share his passion for the Revolution, however, his attacks on them became more fierce. While never one of the most blood-thirsty revolutionaries, he would play an integral role in the National Convention—something he would later try to downplay.

Keywords: France; Henri Grégoire; Revolution; Church; monarchy; regeneration; dechristianization; National Convention

Chapter.  11733 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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