Masters Thesis

Spiritual conspiracy and dechristianization during the French Revolution

This study analyzes the intellectual propositions of Abbé Augustin Barruel in his 1798 work Memoirs Illustrating the History of Jacobinism. Barruel’s investigative documentation of an eighteenth-century conspiracy reveals that the French Revolution was predominantly an attack on Christian-styled civilization. The Memoirs describe prominent French philosophers and occult secret societies concocting a spiritual and political ideology which propelled the Revolution into a vehicle of anti-Christian cultural animus. This study examines these ideologies, and by doing so, offers insight into why the Jacobin Club’s campaign of dechristianization ultimately took place during the French Revolution. Uncovering this conspiracy through the use of Barruel’s intellectual framework offers a neglected and highly contributory perspective toward French Revolutionary studies.