- By Dale K. Van Kley

The Religious Origins of the French Revolution: From Calvin to the Civil Constitution, 1560-1791

  • Title: The Religious Origins of the French Revolution: From Calvin to the Civil Constitution, 1560-1791
  • Author: Dale K. Van Kley
  • ISBN: 9780300080858
  • Page: 243
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Religious Origins of the French Revolution From Calvin to the Civil Constitution Although the French Revolution is associated with efforts to dechristianize the French state and citizens it actually had long term religious even Christian origins claims Dale Van Kley in this cont

    Although the French Revolution is associated with efforts to dechristianize the French state and citizens, it actually had long term religious even Christian origins, claims Dale Van Kley in this controversial new book Looking back at the two and a half centuries that preceded the revolution, Van Kley explores the diverse, often warring religious strands that influenced pAlthough the French Revolution is associated with efforts to dechristianize the French state and citizens, it actually had long term religious even Christian origins, claims Dale Van Kley in this controversial new book Looking back at the two and a half centuries that preceded the revolution, Van Kley explores the diverse, often warring religious strands that influenced political events up to the revolution.Van Kley draws on a wealth of primary sources to show that French royal absolutism was first a product and then a casualty of religious conflict On the one hand, the religious civil wars of the sixteenth century between the Calvinist and Catholic internationals gave rise to Bourbon divine right absolutism in the seventeenth century On the other hand, Jansenist related religious conflicts in the eighteenth century helped to desacralize the monarchy and along with it the French Catholic clergy, which was closely identified with Bourbon absolutism The religious conflicts of the eighteenth century also made a direct contribution to the revolution, for they left a legacy of protopolitical and ideological parties such as the Patriot party, a successor to the Jansenist party , whose rhetoric affected the content of revolutionary as well as counterrevolutionary political culture Even in its dechristianizing phase, says Van Kley, revolutionary political culture was considerably indebted to varieties of French Catholicism than it realized.

    1 thought on “The Religious Origins of the French Revolution: From Calvin to the Civil Constitution, 1560-1791

    1. Ce livre n'a pas tant pour sujet la révolution française elle-même que les querelles qui ont agité le catholicisme français depuis le lendemain des guerres de religion jusqu'à la veille de la révolution. Aussi, ce n'est pas tant la thèse principale du livre - d'ailleurs assez peu convaincante, à savoir que la révolution a parmi les raisons de son avènement une origine religieuse - qui m'a intéressé, que la matière que l'auteur nous met sous les yeux: c'est tout le détail des évé [...]

    2. Overview: Van Kley surveys the influence of religion on the politics of France from its rejection of Protestantism to the Civil Constitution of the Clergy (1790). He argues that the monarchy's right to exist rested on a set of religious claims that were undermined by the Jansenist controversy of the 18th century, particularly of the status of the papal bull Unigenitus. These religious parties of the Jansenist controversy shaded into the ideological parties of the Revolution, which itself depende [...]

    3. A surprisingly solid study. I am wary of making religion central to the story of the Revolution, but Van Kley makes a good case for its inclusion somewhere in the mix of factors leading us to the Bastille.Following the general revisionist tendency to see continuity between the old regime and the revolutionary period, Van Kley argues that religious debates of the early modern period contributed substantially to the constitutional crisis of the late eighteenth century. It is possible, Van Kley arg [...]

    4. Religion was an important factor in the French Revolution.That's pretty much it. Oh sure, the argument is a bit more sophisticated than that -- Van Kley centers his study around the rise and fall of sacral absolutism, arguing that Calvinist theology eroded previous acceptance of the divine mandate of the monarchy. And he provides heaps of detailed support that would no doubt be fascinating to those interested in Jansenism, the Unigenitus, Jesuit political involvement, Roman influences on Christi [...]

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