You are here


Title: Theophilanthropy: Civil Religion and Secularization in the French Revolution.
Name(s): Deverse, Jonathan Douglas, author
McMahon, Darrin M., professor co-directing dissertation
Blaufarb, Rafe, professor co-directing dissertation
Kavka, Martin, university representative
Williamson, George S., committee member
Grant, Jonathan A., 1963-, committee member
Doel, Ronald Edmund, committee member
Florida State University, degree granting institution
College of Arts and Sciences, degree granting college
Department of History, degree granting department
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2015
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource (255 pages)
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: This dissertation examines how the implementation of Enlightenment ideas in the French Revolution gave birth to a new secular conception of the state and the invention of a new religion. I argue that Jean-Jacques Rousseau, representing shared assumptions across the Enlightenment, interpreted religion to be a human construct and thus subject to human intervention. With the onset of 1789 revolutionaries employed this conception to reorganize the Gallican Church and institute the radical Cults of Reason and the Supreme Being. When these endeavors failed revolutionaries refocused on two solutions: the secular laws of 1795 and Theophilanthropy. Revolutionary secularization separated Church and state and confined worship to the private sphere. Consequently Theophilanthropy acquired an independent status and the Revolution acted as a catalyst for the invention of a new religion based on Enlightenment principles. This study explores how Theophilanthropy stood at the foundation of French secularization, modern civil religion and subsequent New Religious Movements (NRM). The historical significance of Theophilanthropy was critical in its own time and bequeathed a legacy that long outlasted the Revolution.
Identifier: FSU_2015fall_Deverse_fsu_0071E_12862 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the Department of History in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Fall Semester 2015.
Date of Defense: October 27, 2015.
Keywords: Civil Religion, Enlightenment, French Revolution, Rousseau, Secularization, Theophilanthropy
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Darrin McMahon, Professor Co-Directing Dissertation; Rafe Blaufarb, Professor Co-Directing Dissertation; Martin Kavka, University Representative; George Williamson, Committee Member; Jonathan Grant, Committee Member; Ron Doel, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Europe -- History
Religions -- History
Persistent Link to This Record:
Host Institution: FSU

Choose the citation style.
Deverse, J. D. (2015). Theophilanthropy: Civil Religion and Secularization in the French Revolution. Retrieved from