The Genius of Christianity

first publication date:  1802
genre:  essay
original title:  Génie du christianisme, ou beautés de la religion chrétienne
original language:  French
movement:  Romanticism
follows:  René

The Genius of Christianity, or Beauties of the Christian Religion (French: Le Génie du christianisme, ou Beautés de la religion chrétienne) is a work by the French author François-René de Chateaubriand, written during his exile in England in the 1790s as a defense of the Catholic faith, then under attack during the French Revolution. It was first published in France in 1802, after Chateaubriand returned to France following Napoleon's general amnesty for émigrés who had fled the Revolution. Napoleon, who had recently signed the Concordat with the pope, initially made use of Chateaubriand's book as propaganda to win support among French Catholics. Within five years, he would quarrel with the author and send him into internal exile. In The Genius of Christianity, Chateaubriand defends the wisdom and beauty of Christianity against the attacks on it by French Enlightenment philosophers and revolutionary politicians. The book had an immense influence on nineteenth-century culture and not just on religious life. In fact, it might be said its greatest impact was on art and literature: it was a major inspiration for the Romantic movement. Source: Wikipedia (en)


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