Department of History

Queen's University
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October 27, 2016
Nicholas Cronk (Oxford University)
 

“Voltaire and the Radical Enlightenment.”

Voltaire’s place in the Enlightenment is oddly ambiguous. Acclaimed a hero by the French Revolution, Voltaire was a radical figure for the nineteenth century, the epitome of anticlericalism for the Third Republic. In recent decades, however, it is increasingly Diderot and Rousseau who have come to seem the more radical figures, and Jonathan Israel has now banished Voltaire to the camp of ‘moderates’. How might we reassess Voltaire’s reputation?

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