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Roundtable on The French and Russian Revolutions: Rival Interpretations

Roundtable on The French and Russian Revolutions: Rival Interpretations

On November 8, 2017, a roundtable was held in the main building of Saint Tihkons University on The French and Russian Revolutions: Rival Interpretations. Participants included Philippe Pichot-Bravard (Université de Bretagne Occidentale, France) and Christophe Réveillard (Université Paris-Sorbonne, France).

The event took place as part of a project to improve Franco-Russian academic collaboration, as organized by the Faculty of Philosophy at Saint Tikhons Orthodox University of the Humanities.

Throughout the roundtable discussion, the participants discussed the reasons why the Revolution occurred in France and the main ideas of those who organized it. The ideologues of the French Revolution aspired to annihilate the countrys past and create a New France. To reshape the national spirit of France, the revolutionaries had to begin with its foundations in the Christian faith. To this end, the leaders of the Revolution, such as Robespierre, created their own kind of civil religion, which was essentially anti-Christian.

Those present at the roundtable concluded that similar events recurred on a larger scale in Russia in 1917. Just like Robespierre, Lenin wanted to start a revolution for the people but without the people. It must be noted that the Communist authorities used ideas and methods for influencing the people that were familiar from the French Revolution. For example, Lenin called the Bolsheviks Jacobins and suggested separating Church and State and calling off Christian holidays.


Originally published on November 10, 2017


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