Voltaire and Protestantism

Literary/ Cultural Context Note

Graham Gargett (University of Ulster at Coleraine)
Download PDF Add to Bookshelf Report an Error

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 foreshadowing his lifelong hostility to the Catholic Church. His epic poem, La Henriade

4391 words

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 21 June 2024.]

19551 Voltaire and Protestantism 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.