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Religious Change in Europe 1650–1914Essays for John McManners$
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Nigel Aston

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780198205968

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205968.001.0001

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Religious Reactions in Post-Revolutionary French Literature: Chateaubriand, Constant, Mme de Staël, Joseph de Maistre

Religious Reactions in Post-Revolutionary French Literature: Chateaubriand, Constant, Mme de Staël, Joseph de Maistre

Chapter:
(p.257) 12 Religious Reactions in Post-Revolutionary French Literature: Chateaubriand, Constant, Mme de Staël, Joseph de Maistre
Source:
Religious Change in Europe 1650–1914
Author(s):

Richard Fargher

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205968.003.0013

This chapter discusses the varied religious reactions in the French literature after the French Revolution. Mme de Stael incarnated the ardours, ambitions, intellectual ferment, suffering, and religious feeling of her age. Burke, in 1790, had robustly pointed out the attractions of an undemanding religion for the rich and the great, whose cares and anxieties ‘range without limit, and are diversified by infinite combination in the wild and unbounded regions of imagination’, and who need ‘something to relieve in the killing languor and overlaboured lassitude of those who have nothing to do’. He also realized that a nondogmatic benevolence towards religion offered a bulwark against revolution.

Keywords:   French literature, French Revolution, Mme de Stael, Burke, religious system, liberal ideas

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