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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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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 17 May 2022

A Religious Revolution?

A Religious Revolution?

Regeneration Transformed

(p.109) Chapter 5 A Religious Revolution?
The Abbe Gregoire and the French Revolution

Alyssa Goldstein Sepinwall

University of California Press

In modern-day France, the involvement of Catholics such as Henri Grégoire in the Revolution has appeared puzzling at best, traitorous at worst. Because of the violent dechristianization of the later Revolution, which saw churches vandalized and royalist priests deported or executed, religion and Revolution have often been seen as sworn enemies. Many secular revolutionaries would not have objected to this depiction; for them, the Church was as much of an obstacle to progress as the monarchy. Moreover, when they used regeneration, they saw it not as a Christian term but as an anti-Christian one. When Grégoire discovered that others did not share his passion for the Revolution, however, his attacks on them became more fierce. While never one of the most blood-thirsty revolutionaries, he would play an integral role in the National Convention—something he would later try to downplay.

Keywords:   France, Henri Grégoire, Revolution, Church, monarchy, regeneration, dechristianization, National Convention

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