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Conscience and ConversionReligious Liberty in Post-Revolutionary France$
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Thomas Kselman

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780300226133

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300226133.001.0001

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From Toleration to Liberty

From Toleration to Liberty

Religious Freedom as Concept and Constitutional Right

(p.13) 1. From Toleration to Liberty
Conscience and Conversion

Thomas Kselman

Yale University Press

This chapter offers a broad overview of the history of religious liberty in France from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century. Early in this period philosophers such as Montaigne, Bayle, Voltaire, Rousseau, and Constant moved from an understanding of religious liberty as a collective right designed to protect minority religious communities to an increased sensitivity to the right of individuals to make personal religious choices. The chapter situates Article Ten of the Declaration of the Rights of Man (1789), which established religious liberty as a fundamental right, within this historical context. It concludes with an examination of the political theory and constitutional structures of Restoration France that created the space for individuals to realize the right announced in Article Ten.

Keywords:   French Revolution, human rights, toleration, religious liberty, religious freedom, freedom of conscience

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