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Louis XVI’s Chapel during the French Revolution 1789-1792

Caiani, Ambrogio A. (2008) Louis XVI’s Chapel during the French Revolution 1789-1792. French History, 22 (4). pp. 425-445. ISSN 0269-1191. (doi:10.1093/fh/crn041) (KAR id:49016)


Abstract — The close association of Christianity with the late Bourbon monarchy’s style of governance has often been interpreted as a burdensome legacy, which impacted greatly on the period preceding the French Revolution. In recent years, historians have referred to the ideological, juridical and intellectual assaults on the religious foundations of the French crown, throughout the eighteenth century, either as a process of ‘ desacralization ’ or as the religious origins of the French Revolution. This article, though inspired by this school of thought, takes

a different approach by examining the less well-known ceremonial and ritual components of this form of kingship, with particular reference to the king’s chapel. Louis XVI’s ecclesiastical household was both the centre of royal patronage for the Gallican Church and the chief

regulatory authority of the monarch’s personal religious devotion. Its actions, transformation and fate during the Revolution are instructive in two ways. First, its survival during the first three years of the revolutionary troubles highlights its fundamental and constraining influence

over the French monarchy. Secondly, the gradual, though determined, effort to undermine the pact between throne and altar that it represented exemplifi es a lesser known aspect of the national deputies ’ anticlerical agenda.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1093/fh/crn041
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DC France
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of History
Depositing User: Ambrogio Caiani
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2015 18:42 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:20 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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