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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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A Physical, Moral, and Political Regeneration of the Jews

A Physical, Moral, and Political Regeneration of the Jews

Chapter:
(p.56) Chapter 3 A Physical, Moral, and Political Regeneration of the Jews
Source:
The Abbe Gregoire and the French Revolution
Author(s):

Alyssa Goldstein Sepinwall

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520241800.003.0004

In focusing on the way Henri Grégoire used the term regeneration on the eve of the Revolution, this chapter glimpses some of the contradictions in this paradigm as he would use it throughout his life. For Grégoire, whose usage of the word was seminal, regeneration was not merely a political action, but also a physical and moral one. Building on meanings of the word in Christianity's theology as well as in the Enlightenment, the new usage suggested that groups like the Jews who were seen as degenerated needed special help in all of these areas before they could be fully included in the social body. Understanding Grégoire's reshaping of the word is especially important since regeneration would become the dominant paradigm for the treatment of difference in modern France and its empire.

Keywords:   Henri Grégoire, regeneration, Revolution, Christianity, Enlightenment, Jews, France

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