Liberal Values: Benjamin Constant and the Politics of Religionby Helena Rosenblatt
Pub. Date: 03/28/2011
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Professor Rosenblatt presents a study of Benjamin Constant's intellectual development into a founding father of modern liberalism, through a careful analysis of his evolving views on religion. Constant's life spanned the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, Napoleon's rise and rule, and the Bourbon Restoration. Rosenblatt analyzes Constant's key role in many of this era's heated debates over the role of religion in politics, and in doing so, exposes and addresses many misconceptions that have long reigned about Constant and his period. In particular, Rosenblatt sheds light on Constant's major, yet much-neglected work, De La Religion. Given that the role of religion is, once again, center-stage in our political, philosophical and historical arenas, Liberal Values constitutes a major revision of our understanding of the origins of modern liberalism.
Table of ContentsAcknowledgments; Abbreviations; Introduction; Part I. Constant's Education: the French, Scottish, and German Enlightenments: 1. Childhood; 2. Edinburgh; 3. Paris; 4. Protestantism and the Enlightenment; 5. Brunswick; 6. Mauvillon, the new German theology and the idea of progressive revelation; 7. Constant's 'The Spirit of Religions'; 8. Madame de Staël; Part II. The Crucible of the Directory Years: 1. The see-saw policy of the directory; 2. Catholicism and the need for 'Republican Institutions'; 3. Catholic counter-arguments; 4. Constant during the Directory; 5. Critics of the Directory's Religious Policies; 6. The second Directory and the renewed campaign for Republican institutions; 7. Theophilanthropy; 8. Lessons of the Directory: William Godwin and Des circonstances actuelles; Part III. Napoleon, or Battling 'the New Cyrus': 1. Napoleon and the Catholic Revival; 2. Enlightened responses and the plan to 'Protestantize' France; 3. Charles de Villers; 4. Bonaparte's decision; 5. Portalis on the Utility of Religion; 6. The Concordat and the Organic Articles; 7. Friends and foes of the Concordat: from the Génie du christianisme to Delphine; 8. Constant's trip to Germany; 9. The Sentiment/Form Distinction; 10. Return to Paris (December 1804) and the Debate on a National Religion; Part IV. Constant becomes Constant: From the Principles of Politics (1806) to the Spirit of Conquest and Usurpation (1814): 1. Constant's Political Principles in 1806; 2. 'Private judgement' in Protestant Polemics; 3. Book VIII: On Religious Freedom; 4. Constant's 'Corner of Religion': from the 'Letter about Julie' to the Correspondence with Prosper de Barante, a. The 'Letter about Julie', b. Adolphe and Cecile, c. Correspondence with Prosper de Barante; 5. De l'Allemagne (1810); 6. Constant's return to Germany; 7. The spirit of conquest and usurpation (1814); Part V. Politics and Religion during the Restoration (1814–24): 1. Keeping Political Liberty Alive; 2. Keeping Religious Liberty Alive; Part VI. The 'Protestant Bossuet': De la religion in Political Context (1824–30): 1. De la religion, volume I (May 1824), Reviews of volume I; 2. Charles X and 'the invasion of priests', Constant's article 'Christianity', Professions of Protestantism; 3. De la religion, volume II (October 1825); 4. The Problem with Industrie: Constant and religion seen from the Left; 1. Saint-Simon's 'New Christianity' (1825); 2. Auguste Comte, Le Producteur, and the search for a new 'spiritual authority'; Part VII. Constant's Legacy: 1. The Revolution of 1830; 2. Constant's declining reputation.
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