Les Amis: Ages and Religions

Meta related to characters, plots, or other elements introduced by Victor Hugo in Les Misérables.
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between4walls
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Re: Les Amis: Ages and Religions

Postby between4walls » Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:35 pm

How traditional and how aligned with the church hierarchy a particular Catholic is will definitely color how they remember the French Revolution.
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MmeBahorel
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Re: Les Amis: Ages and Religions

Postby MmeBahorel » Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:16 pm

I definitely meant that in a "they'll look at you really funny and say 'of course i'm catholic' and mumble something about weird foreigners" way if anyone were so odd as to ask :)
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Re: Les Amis: Ages and Religions

Postby SpiritOfDawn » Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:44 pm

I actually could sign most of what Madame Bahorel says...

As I see it, most of them have been raised at least in a catholic fashion, and it was spread out so much more into all areas of society, that even though you may not be a deep believer, there were just some conventions that were kind of hard to shake.

Growing up they probably found different ways to deal with the concept of religion, from accepting it just as part of conventional life over questioning some of the dogmata and therefore ending up slightly at odds internally with the church (I can see Combeferre doing that, and in a very different way Grantaire) or hopping on of the romantic notion of finding God in Nature up until some deeply rooted faith (that probably would not be connected that much to the institution of the church, seen as it was not all that opposed to the ways of the government...)
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LaRévolutionnaire
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Re: Les Amis: Ages and Religions

Postby LaRévolutionnaire » Thu Aug 22, 2013 6:31 am

I don't know why, but I always thought Enjolras was an atheist... I think it's because I see, I do not know where, something that says that republican were atheist... Or maybe it was my brother, who is an republican atheist... I don't know... :D
I know that at this period, in France, about everyone were catholic, and I think that most of les Amis are catholic. But I still think that Enjolras is an atheist. What do you think? Is this completely ridiculous, or not? :?
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Re: Les Amis: Ages and Religions

Postby WhoIam » Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:59 pm

I wouldn't say that Enjolras would be atheist, because in chapter five of Jean Valjean book one, he talks about the future. "...for religion the heavens, God a direct priest..."
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Re: Les Amis: Ages and Religions

Postby freedomlover » Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:53 pm

I never saw Enjolras as an atheist either-- mainly because of that speech and one of my friends interpreted the whole barricade as spiritual warfare 0_O

But if you do cool! That is your headcanon :)
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Re: Les Amis: Ages and Religions

Postby Morgan » Sat Aug 24, 2013 1:37 pm

WhoIam wrote:I wouldn't say that Enjolras would be atheist, because in chapter five of Jean Valjean book one, he talks about the future. "...for religion the heavens, God a direct priest..."


I think though, that just because someone mentions God doesn't necessarily exclude the possibility of them being an atheist or agnostic. Especially in a context which, as MmeBahorel mentioned upthread, is pretty heavily permeated with Christianity and specifically Catholicism, God as a metaphorical or rhetorical thing can slip in even for someone who doesn't actually believe in the literal existence of an actual God.

(it's possible I have a slightly weird outlook on this because I come from a religious background where most of my friends don't actually believe in God per se but are part of a historically Christian religious group, and we tend to reinterpret texts that mention God in slightly odd ways and for unexpected values of "God". You know that line about Prouvaire confounding God and the future? That struck a massive chord with me because I have had many conversations in which we have confounded God with the universe, the human race, the sublime, community, love, good, infinity, and a bunch of other things, and ended up using the word God to mean something totally other than an actual deity. So I don't tend to take mentions of God as always and necessarily equating to a declaration of theism in the strictest sense.)
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Re: Les Amis: Ages and Religions

Postby Marianne » Sun Aug 25, 2013 1:12 am

LaRévolutionnaire wrote:I don't know why, but I always thought Enjolras was an atheist... I think it's because I see, I do not know where, something that says that republican were atheist... Or maybe it was my brother, who is an republican atheist... I don't know... :D
I know that at this period, in France, about everyone were catholic, and I think that most of les Amis are catholic. But I still think that Enjolras is an atheist. What do you think? Is this completely ridiculous, or not? :?
LaRev


French republicanism has an aggressively secularist streak, but that doesn't necessarily mean atheism. It doesn't rule it out entirely, but openly-avowed atheism was fairly rare at the time and tended to be... hm, how to put it? An active and quite radical statement that God doesn't exist, rather than a simple lack of belief. I tend to imagine most of the Amis as culturally-Catholic Deists of varying stripes.

(French secularism, btw, is rather different from American separation of church and state. The American version is at least as much about protecting religion from state influence/persecution as it is about keeping religion out of government--it's rooted in the US's history as a haven for sects that didn't get along with the official state religion and assumes a multiplicity of different faiths. French laïcité is born out of the experience of one monolithic institution--the Catholic church--trying to exert undue influence on the running of the country, and is almost entirely about trying to protect the state--in some versions, the entire public square--from the meddling of religion.)
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Re: Les Amis: Ages and Religions

Postby freedomlover » Mon Jul 24, 2017 4:33 pm

Marianne wrote:
LaRévolutionnaire wrote:I don't know why, but I always thought Enjolras was an atheist... I think it's because I see, I do not know where, something that says that republican were atheist... Or maybe it was my brother, who is an republican atheist... I don't know... :D
I know that at this period, in France, about everyone were catholic, and I think that most of les Amis are catholic. But I still think that Enjolras is an atheist. What do you think? Is this completely ridiculous, or not? :?
LaRev


French republicanism has an aggressively secularist streak, but that doesn't necessarily mean atheism. It doesn't rule it out entirely, but openly-avowed atheism was fairly rare at the time and tended to be... hm, how to put it? An active and quite radical statement that God doesn't exist, rather than a simple lack of belief. I tend to imagine most of the Amis as culturally-Catholic Deists of varying stripes.

(French secularism, btw, is rather different from American separation of church and state. The American version is at least as much about protecting religion from state influence/persecution as it is about keeping religion out of government--it's rooted in the US's history as a haven for sects that didn't get along with the official state religion and assumes a multiplicity of different faiths. French laïcité is born out of the experience of one monolithic institution--the Catholic church--trying to exert undue influence on the running of the country, and is almost entirely about trying to protect the state--in some versions, the entire public square--from the meddling of religion.)


So I did my senior thesis on Enlightenment era "liberty" concepts and how they were perceived particularly in the French Revolution and it was interesting to see the cultural differences.

You hit the point perfectly right here. In America we primarily were settled for religions to practice as they see fit. Mainly Protestants and related groups settled here, so sadly there was discrimination when Catholics came along as people saw them as trying to influence us- when they were in reality just trying to find a better life.

Where France, the "church" was used as a tool of power to keep the people in check. The church was more an instument to be feared, while in the US the "church" (or should I say "decentralized mainly Protestant churches") were seen as having to be protected. Big cultural difference right there effected by history.

I heard somewhere that Protestants were more likely to take up arms against the king? got to find that again.. but further making the French church worried about loosing power to dissident groups.

There is some overlap in that neither Americans nor the French want the church and state to get too close. But its funny to see here in America we are more worried about the state telling the church what to do, where in France they are more worried about the state telling the church what to do.
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