Voltaire and Protestantism (4391 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Note

Graham Gargett (University of Ulster at Coleraine)
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Protestantism and Protestants played a considerable role in both Voltaire’s writings and his life (1694-1778). His experiences in Protestant countries and his contacts with individual Protestants nuanced and refined his opinion of their religion, and this article investigates their complex interaction.

A natural rebel, but one who was well educated and well connected, Voltaire had a chequered career during the regency of Philippe d’Orléans (1715-23). Although imprisoned in the Bastille for allegedly composing a licentious poem about the Regent and his daughter, Voltaire remained popular with many aristocrats. His first tragedy, Œdipe (1718), contained famous lines attacking priests, inevitably …

Citation: Gargett, Graham. "Voltaire and Protestantism". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 October 2020 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=19551, accessed 02 December 2020.]

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