Voltaire, Rousseau e o Cristianismo: História e poder

Revista Dialectus 15:232-252 (2019)
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Abstract
The history of Christianity was a prevalent subject among 18th century philosophers. This article presents a historical perspective of the relationship between Christianity and power based on a comparative analysis of the ideas of Voltaire and Rousseau. Bibliographic research was undertaken using a philosophical approach to their works. This study examines Voltaire’s inquiry into Jesus Christ as a historical figure and a“genealogy” of Christianity in three of his works: Tumbeau du fanatisme(1736), Traité sur la tolérance(1763), and Catéchisme de l'honnête homme (1763). Regarding Rousseau, this study interprets his historical approach to the connections between Christianity and politics based on the following works: Sur la Réponse qui a été faite à son Discours(1751), the chapter entitled “Civil Religion” in Du Contract social(1762), and Lettres écrites de la montagne(1764). Not only do the findings of this inquiry reveal the similarities and differences between the thoughts of Voltaire and Rousseau and the historical tensions between Christianity and power, the findings also point toward a fundamental defense of a secular state.
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