Religion in the Age of Enlightenment


French Revolution, Pentecost, Enlightenment


Publications on the religious history of the French Revolution were in vogue during the second half of the nineteenth century. Several important essays published then are still regarded as landmarks for this topic, including those by Edgar Quinet (Le christianisme et la Revolution franraise, 1845), Francois-Alphonse Aulard (Le Culte de la Raison et le Culte de l'Btre Supreme, 1892), and Albert Mathiez (Les origines des cultes revolutionnaires, 1904). After this initial wave of interest, the religious paradigm of the French Revolution disappeared from scholarly discussions for more than half a century. Not until the 1970s do we see a revival of interest in the topic, with the production of a significant amount of studies in a short period. In 1990, just after the two hundredth anniversary of the French Revolution, Claude Langlois reviewed ninety French titles dedicated to the relationship between religion and the French Revolution that had been published during the late 1980s.