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The French Revolution and Its Attack on Religion
6th February 2018 @ 7:30 pm
Dr Linda Kirk, Honorary Lecturer in Early Modern History at the University of Sheffield, tackles a different phase of Reformation aftermath in this scheduled public lecture:
By the late eighteenth century, the French had taken some tentative steps towards religious toleration. As the Revolution broke out, and reformers proposed changes to anything and everything, including the Church, it was presumed that belief and fidelity would remain plaited into the fabric of French life. But things went further and faster than any reformers expected: before 1792 was over, those ruling France had turned to a full-scale attack on most of its Roman Catholic Church’s institutions, hunting down many priests as enemies of the people. This lecture will ask what happened to belief; what understanding of the Enlightenment, and of legitimacy grounded on popular assent, led to puzzled but violent peasants on both sides slaughtering former neighbours and authority figures? And how did they stop?
This free event is part of the God and the Good series, organised in partnership between the Department of Philosophy and Sheffield Cathedral.