Christian Apologetics and the Universal Human Family

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:
Christian Apologetics and the Universal Human Family

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Henri Grégoire remained an activist in world of politics until his death, despite occasional frustrations. In addition to New World republicanism, he used his money and pen to support the rights of Catholics in Ireland, republicans in Europe, and enslaved Africans throughout the world. Rather than defining his interest in oppressed groups as simply humanitarian, this chapter tries to situate it within his ongoing defense of Catholicism against attacks by philosophes, Protestants, and other non-believers. While Grégoire's Christianity was certainly a motivating factor in his defense of the oppressed, the equation was also reversed: his discussions of the oppressed served precisely to demonstrate Christianity's superiority. Before the Revolution, Grégoire had been clear that defending Catholicism was one of his main goals in writing about Jews. Although he had avoided such language during the Revolution, it now returned and expanded, as marginal groups of all kinds became vehicles for him to laud Catholicism.

Keywords: Henri Grégoire; politics; New World; republicanism; humanitarian; Catholicism; Christianity; Revolution; Jews

Chapter.  7555 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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