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The Abbe Gregoire and the French RevolutionThe Making of Modern Universalism$
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Alyssa Goldstein Sepinwall

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780520241800

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520241800.001.0001

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Regenerating Biography, or In Search of Universalism

Regenerating Biography, or In Search of Universalism

Chapter:
(p.1) Prologue Regenerating Biography, or In Search of Universalism
Source:
The Abbe Gregoire and the French Revolution
Author(s):

Alyssa Goldstein Sepinwall

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520241800.003.0001

This chapter discusses several fascinations about gender, the history of the Jews, colonialism, and postcolonialism. It includes issues such as why revolutions erupt, what role religious truth claims play in political and cultural life, and how ideas transform as they are diffused throughout society. Its association with Keith Michael Baker, a renowned scholar of eighteenth-century France, reaffirmed its desire to specialize in that field. The chapter goes on to discuss the abbé Henri Grégoire, a famous white French priest. For anyone studying the French Revolution or modern Jewish history, an examination of the part played by abbé is inescapable. A priest from Lorraine, he wrote a famous essay on Jews in 1788, urging that they be “regenerated” physically, morally, and politically, in order to be integrated fully into French society. The following year he came to Paris for the Estates-General and become involved in the Revolution, where he was the figure credited with effecting Jewish emancipation.

Keywords:   gender, colonialism, postcolonialism, Keith Michael Baker, Henri Grégoire, French Revolution, Jews, emancipation

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