Lecture 5 - The Waning of Religious Authority

author: John Merriman, Department of History, Yale University
recorded by: Yale University
published: March 18, 2011,   recorded: September 2007,   views: 2523
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)
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Religion in France after the Revolution can be understood in terms of two forms of de-Christianization. The first of these is political, and takes place in the de jure separation of church and state. The second is a decline in religious practice among individual citizens. While the history of the former change is well documented, the latter is a more ambiguous phenomenon. Despite the statistical decline in religious participation in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Catholicism in particular continues to play a significant role in the cultural imagination, or imaginaire, of many French people.

Reading assignment:

Zola, Emile. Germinal.

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