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The Gospel According to Renan
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The Gospel According to Renan: Reading, Writing, and Religion in Nineteenth-Century France

Robert D. Priest


This book provides a new and holistic interpretation of one of the non-fiction sensations of the nineteenth century: Ernest Renan’s Vie de Jésus. Published in 1863, Renan’s book aroused enormous controversy through its claim to provide a historically accurate biography of Jesus. While Vie de Jésus provoked the ire of the Catholic Church in hundreds of sermons and pamphlets, it also sold hundreds of thousands of copies, making a fortune for its author and his publisher. Based on research into a huge range of print and manuscript sources, this book demonstrates how Renan’s work intervened in a r ... More

Keywords: Ernest Renan, historical Jesus, French history, France, nineteenth century, reading, religion, secularization, Catholicism, Vie de Jésus, cultural history

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780198728757
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198728757.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Robert D. Priest, author
University of London