These individuals all agreed that the principal reason they attended her meetings was the comfort she brought them. The same interrogations detail the reasons behind this need for consolation. There are many soldiers in the departments and the army who, before their departure, have been initiated into the mysteries of the so-called Mother of God; entire families have brought their newborns there.
All have been drawn there by the prestige of bodily immortality. This desire for immortality is only one of the symptoms of the anxiety produced by the war. People employed multiple strategies to avoid going to war, including marriage, subornation, requests for exemption citing disability or other major problems, and even desertion. Soldiers were not the only ones to dread war. Their relatives feared for their lives, but beyond sentimental factors a soldier's departure for the front also threatened his family's standard of living.
In particular, the loss of his salary put the household's capacity to meet its needs in danger, and risked condemning it to indigence. Nevertheless, economic problems made it difficult to implement this decision: not only did the assistance arrive late, it also proved to be insufficient.
Nuit Blanche in Paris
According to the arrest report, the ritual consisted of embracing the Mother of God while kissing her seven times on the forehead, the eyes, the cheeks, and the chin in order to renew the seven gifts of God. Strongly ritualized and polysemous, in this context the practice of kissing echoed a greeting ceremony. In particular, the arrest file explains that the number of kisses invoked the seven divine gifts.
It was precisely in this Catholic and popular substratum that the seven kisses acquired their symbolism of immortality. War in the narrow sense, then, was not the only experience which led the population to a threshold situation. The political violence experienced throughout the French Revolution produced its share of stressful conditions.
Among historians who have sought to explain the Terror, some have viewed it as an inherent trait of the Revolution's true nature, as an exceptional response to the wartime context, or as a symptom of political radicalization; others have seen it as a practice which was far less exceptional once placed in its historical context. Political violence engendered a public space marked by denunciation, vengeance, and arbitrariness.
According to the interrogations, Plaignier had constructed a kind of altar to Reason with a doll festooned with flowers, a feather, a heart, and a cross; she had surrounded it with flowers, plaster, and tobacco, and had added a glass of wine and some pamphlets on the Supreme Being. She knelt compulsively before this image and asked God to preserve Robespierre from assassination.
The religious system put in place through local and national initiatives between winter and spring presented a many-sided face, and some of its traits, such as the cult of the martyrs of liberty, enjoyed immense popularity. You who miss a virtuous friend, you like to think that the most beautiful part of him has escaped death! You who cry over the casket of a son or a spouse, are you consoled by those who tell you that nothing remains of them save foul dust?
The celebration of the immortality of the soul and the Supreme Being formed a rallying point for a population that had suffered the effects of war:. You will be there, young citizens, to whom victory will soon bring back brothers and lovers worthy of you. You will be there, mothers whose husbands and sons build trophies to the Republic with the fragments of thrones. Oh French women, cherish the liberty bought at the price of their blood; use your empire to spread that of republican virtue!
Oh French women, you are worthy of the love and respect of the world! Why would you envy the women of Sparta? Like them, you have given birth to heroes; like them, you have sacrificed these heroes, with sublime abandon, to the motherland. Nevertheless, the anxiety provoked by war, violence, and dechristianization did not necessarily lead to a condemnation of the events of —this anxiety was compatible with a desire to see the Revolution triumph.
The hopes for unalloyed bliss and for universal regeneration, born out of eighteenth-century philosophy, foundered in the Terror. The prophetess was just as opposed to the Constitutional church as the refractory one. Indeed, enlarging the geographical frame of the enquiry makes it possible to grasp the importance of the prophetic phenomenon in other societies shaken by the Revolution and the Napoleonic wars.
In Italy, the pro-Jesuit prophecies of the young peasant Bernardina Renzi were rediscovered, but also texts inspired by the Jansenists that likened Rome to a new Babylon. The spectacular development of prophecies during this period was not limited to the Catholic sphere. Protestant England also saw the emergence of charismatic figures like Richard Brothers, who heralded the death of the king, the advent of the Republic, and the Apocalypse in a country at war with revolutionary France.
One may add the prophecies of the English poet William Blake and the Church of the New Jerusalem, along with Southcott, the prophetess cited above, who brought together thousands of people convinced that she was pregnant with the new Messiah. Her followers would subsequently play a very important role in the utopian socialism and radicalism of the s. As Marshall Sahlins has pointed out, by operating on reality cultural categories acquire new functional values and transform themselves.
Numéros en texte intégral
They thus provide a perfect example of the tension between structure and event highlighted by the American anthropologist. Her discourse on immortality counteracted the anguish wrought by the war and violence of the French Revolution. It was not positioned against the Revolution itself, but in favor of a rapid victory of the revolutionary armies under the protection of God and against the repressive excesses of the revolutionary tribunals. The proposals for a revolutionary religion were unable to satisfy the emotional needs of the population.
Despite the attempts to outlaw more traditional religion, devotees continued to gather together, and the pockets and dwellings of those arrested by the revolutionary tribunals overflowed with devotional objects. The sacred did not disappear after the church doors were shut. Paris continued to feel the love of the marvelous. Vadier presented his report on the arrest of the Mother of God to the Convention just seven days after the celebration of the Festival of the Supreme Being.
As Simonin has shown, with this festival the Terror entered a theocratic phase: the law ceased to be inviolable and became infallible. From two very different positions, the Incorruptible and the Mother of God both attempted to respond to the need for immortality, whether spiritual or corporeal, in a context of increased anxiety brought about by war and political repression. This logic pitted revolution against counterrevolution but was also fluctuating and variable, alternately expanding and reducing the margins of what was considered revolutionary.https://volunteerparks.org/wp-content/dabuqinuf/3806.php
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Not wanting to fight did not necessarily entail a rejection of the Revolution, but rather revealed the effects of the war on the population. No one could harbor sentiments as pure as those demanded by sublime republican ideals; anyone was therefore capable of treason. Noerr , Gunzelin Schmid and trans. The perception of the Enlightenment has evolved in recent years with the consideration of currents such as mesmerism or physiognomy and the study of their links with religion.
See, for example, the reflections on mesmerism in Ferrone , Vinzenzo , I profeti dell'illuminismo. Le metamorfosi della ragione nel tardo Settecento italiano Rome : Laterza , Koselleck , Reinhart , Zeitschichten. Krampl , Ulrike , Les secrets des faux sorciers. Michaud , Louis-Gabriel , Biographie universelle, ancienne et moderne Paris : Michaud , — , — Elie , , 10 — Meindre , A. Foucault , Michel , History of Madness , ed.
Khalfa , Jean , trans. Ralph Mannheim New York : Meridian , , 11 — Dorlin , Elsa , La matrice de la race.
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Ruelle , Smith , Michael B. Chicago : University of Chicago Press , , — AN, F 7 For an assessment of the history of emotions, see Deluermoz , Quentin et al. Une relecture culturelle Rennes : Presses Universitaires de Rennes , , — Dordrecht : Kluwer Academic Publisher , , 91 — Tackett, Religion, Revolution, and Regional Culture , 9. Miti e profezie dell'Italia in rivoluzione Genoa : Marietti , AN, W47 no. This missive, which has disappeared, was probably a fake intended to discredit Robespierre. Mercier, Tableau de Paris , — De Certeau, The Mystic Fable , — Amadou , Robert Paris : R.
Julliard , , — The hypothesis is also pointed out in Garrett, Respectable Folly , Martin's Press, , chap. Lotta e cultura politica nella Francia del Termidoro Turin : Einaudi , , — Gueniffey , Patrice , La politique de la Terreur. David Andress Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, , — Paris : J. Brosson , , — Roma Rome : Donzelli , , — The pioneering works of E. Luzzatto, L'autunno della rivoluzione , — Reddy, The Navigation of Feeling , — Loading article Login Alert. Log in. Aa Aa. Annales English ed. Send article to Kindle.
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