Religion in selected writings of Voltaire (VOLTAIRERELIGION)
Religion in selected writings of Voltaire
Start date: Apr 1, 2009,
End date: Mar 31, 2011
"The main objective of this project is to contribute to the definitive publication and diffusion of the work of Voltaire (1694-1778). His vast output has only been partially edited according to strict philological and critical principles, and often only the most famous works have been studied in any depth. A complete knowledge of all of Voltaire’s works would be of the utmost importance in spreading, upon strict and uniform philological criteria, the complex thought of a philosopher: an overall study of these works will furnish a clear and complete picture of the development of Voltaire’s ideas about religion, particularly with regard to the Jewish religion. My work will therefore highlight the links between Voltaire's anti-judaic texts and the rest of his work, using the Jewish religion as a connecting thread. I will work as a fully integrated member of the academic team preparing the Œuvres complètes de Voltaire / Complete works of Voltaire for publication. This team aims to produce the first ever complete and fully scientific edition of the writings of Voltaire. In detail, I will myself edit the Sermon du Rabbin Akib (1761), Catéchisme de l’honnête home (1763), Les dernières paroles d’Epictète (1766), Note sur les juifs (1760s), Fragment sur les juifs (1760s) and Lettre sur le Messie (1760s), and I will assist with other Voltaire works regarding Jewish religion. This project will immeasurably deepen our understanding of Voltaire as a writer and thinker. As part of a long-standing endeavour to re-edit and thus make available Voltaire’s writings to a worldwide audience, my proposed study will illuminate an area of European Enlightenment thought which will be of significance to all scholars working in this area."
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