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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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Returning the Universe to God

Returning the Universe to God

Time, Will, and Reason in Les soirées de Saint-Pétersbourg

(p.183) Chapter 5 Returning the Universe to God
The French Idea of History

Carolina Armenteros

Cornell University Press

This chapter discusses the Platonic, Pelagian, and utopian historical vision of Les soirées de Saint-Pétersbourg (1821) in an intellectual context. Nearly fifteen hundred years after Augustine, Les soirées introduces the doctrine of corporeal corruption into history. Inventively, it reformulates the problem of evil not only in terms of man's will and passions as the modern Augustinians had done, but of man's entire being, including his reason and his body. Even more, it asserts that this evil has historical consequences, and, conversely, that historical salvation exists. It thus restores ethical sense to history, envisioning humans as both determined by, and determining of, a newly moral order of nature—rather than as mere parts of nature, governed by physical laws.

Keywords:   corporeal corruption, evil, historical consequences, historical salvation, moral nature

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