Priests of the French Revolution: Saints and Renegades in a New Political Era

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Penn State Press, Aug 29, 2014 - History - 344 pages

The 115,000 priests on French territory in 1789 belonged to an evolving tradition of priesthood. The challenge of making sense of the Christian tradition can be formidable in any era, but this was especially true for those priests required at the very beginning of 1791 to take an oath of loyalty to the new government—and thereby accept the religious reforms promoted in a new Civil Constitution of the Clergy. More than half did so at the beginning, and those who were subsequently consecrated bishops became the new official hierarchy of France. In Priests of the French Revolution, Joseph Byrnes shows how these priests and bishops who embraced the Revolution creatively followed or destructively rejected traditional versions of priestly ministry. Their writings, public testimony, and recorded private confidences furnish the story of a national Catholic church. This is a history of the religious attitudes and psychological experiences underpinning the behavior of representative bishops and priests. Byrnes plays individual ideologies against group action, and religious teachings against political action, to produce a balanced story of saints and renegades within a Catholic tradition.

 

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Contents

Engagement 17891791
1
The Formation of a Revolutionary Priest Sieyès and Grégoire
7
The Priests in Action From Estates General to National Assembly
28
Claude Fauchet at the Bastille
47
The Church of Adrien Lamourette and His Allies
60
Survival 17911795
75
The Failed Relationship of Revolutionary Church and State
82
The Tragic Convention Years
100
Notes to Chapter 1
262
Notes to Chapter 2
265
Notes to Chapter 3
268
Notes to Chapter 4
270
Notes to Chapter 5
272
Notes to Chapter 6
274
Notes to Chapter 7
279
Notes to Chapter 8
282

Terrorists and Abdicators Ultimate Renegades
127
Revival 17951802
151
The New Constitutional French Church
158
Stabilizing the Constitutional Church Claude Le Coz and the Council of 1797
175
Constitutional Irresolution in the See of Paris JeanBaptiste Royer and the Council of 1801
192
Constitutional Clergy in the Church of Napoleons Concordat
211
The Afterlife of the Constitutiional Church Hopes and Reality
227
Administration of the Constitutional Church and Oath Adherence by Department
243
Notes to Prologue
259
Notes to Chapter 9
284
Notes to Chapter 10
286
Notes to Chapter 11
288
Notes to Chapter 12
290
Bibliography
293
Index
305
COVER Back
315
Copyright

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About the author (2014)

Joseph F. Byrnes is Professor of Modern European History at Oklahoma State University. He is the author of Catholic and French Forever: Religious and National Identity in Modern France (Penn State, 2005).

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