Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2015

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors




This thesis explores expressions of Catholic belief and practice during the Radical Phase of the French Revolution. Religion was one of the most contentious issues of the Revolution and the government's treatment of it was one of the major causes for popular discontent and even counterrevolution. As the Revolution turned more radical it became more dangerous to follow traditional Catholicism, yet dechristianization did not end its practice. The goal of this study is to understand the ways in which French men and women were able to maintain their faith despite the government's increasingly hostile approach to dealing with religion. It utilizes three main primary sources from individuals of varying social class and circumstance to illuminate the struggles of Catholics throughout France during this time of upheaval. Overall this study will show that through small acts religious practice was able to withstand state-sanctioned suppression.