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The Religious Origins of the French Revolution
Author: Dale K. van Kley

ISBN: 9780300080858
Format: Paperback
Number Of Pages: 402
Published: 26 October 1999
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2 x 2.2
Description:
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 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 more direct contribution to the revolution, for they left a legacy of protopolitical and ideological parties (such as th...

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