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Revolutionizing Religious Politics during the Restoration

Sheryl T. Kroen
French Historical Studies
Vol. 21, No. 1 (Winter, 1998), pp. 27-53
Published by: Duke University Press
DOI: 10.2307/286925
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/286925
Page Count: 27
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Revolutionizing Religious Politics during the Restoration
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Abstract

During the Restoration the ideological imperatives of counterrevolution set the state against the Catholic Church as the representatives of each engaged in the contentious but necessary business of staging monarchy in the wake of the French Revolution. To reassert the "naturalness" of monarchy, the state pursued a policy of oubli (forgetting), expressed in its early mise-en-place ceremonies and its reluctance to commemorate regicide. In contrast, Catholic missionaries reasserted the legitimacy of monarchy by denouncing and demanding expiation for the revolutionary past in the context of spectacular religious revivals. The state's commitment to the politics of forgetting and its need to temper popular anticlericalism led to its policing these religious spectacles. The correspondence through which representatives of the church and state negotiated this regulation demonstrates that, despite its support for the Catholic Church, the Restoration regime nonetheless developed patterns of control in the religious arena that would shape church-state relations throughout the century. This article "revolutionizes" our view of the Restoration, demonstrating how in the context of religious politics this "reactionary" regime furthered the legacy of the French Revolution.

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