Date of Award

Spring 1993

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Avella, Steven

Second Advisor

Gardinier, David


The present research into the de-Christianization of the Year II (22 September 1793-21 September 1794) in the department of the Gironde has two principal goals. The first is to identify the agents of this movement and to describe its many different manifestations. Proponents of the de-Christianization willingly implemented and participated in numerous anti-religious and anti-clerical policies and activities. The de-Christianizers actively sought to destroy the Roman Catholic religion and to replace it with a political ideology based on the revolutionary values of liberty, reason, equality, and patriotism. Consequently, they closed churches, stripped them of anything that recalled the traditional faith, and then reopened them as Temples of Reason or Temples of the Supreme Being. They ridiculed Catholicism in sacrilegious masquerades and burned its symbols in autos-da-fe as integral parts of political ceremonies inaugurating the secular cults of Marat or Reason or the Supreme Being. The de-Christianizers expunged the religious nomenclature from their neighborhood streets and their towns and villages, replacing it with names honoring the political heroes, events, and values of the Revolution. And, above all, they sought to have clergymen abdicate the priesthood...



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