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The French Idea of HistoryJoseph de Maistre and His Heirs, 1794-1854$
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Carolina Armenteros

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449437

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449437.001.0001

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A Europeanist Theory of History

A Europeanist Theory of History

Du pape

(p.115) Chapter 3 A Europeanist Theory of History
The French Idea of History

Carolina Armenteros

Cornell University Press

This chapter reads Du pape (1819) as a Europeanist text and an early exercise in the sociology of religion. The crucial event in this narrative is the advent of Christianity, the religion that instituted the sociopolitical order that made Europe free. In describing the political emergence of Europe out of the ecclesiastical institutions of Roman Christendom, Du pape contributed to the literary re-Christianization campaign that followed the Terror. For if there is one historical argument to Du pape, it is that the pope has made Europe; that Europe was born and formed at the same time as Catholic Christianity; that the pontiff may now be laden with “unjust chains”; but that he stands on the threshold of a new age, when he will assume a leading role; and that his lay followers can help him play it by presenting him with “weapons all the more useful for having been forged in the camp of the rebellious.”

Keywords:   Europeanist text, sociology of religion, Christianity, Roman Christendom, re-Christianization, Catholic Christianity

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