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date: 24 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

What Montaigne’s biography tells us about his religion is confirmed partly in his Essays. He was without doubt a loyal Catholic but did not want to tell his entire life. Instead of displaying his beliefs, Montaigne chose to exercise his free judgment on all things. He did so with an assumed and conscious boldness. Concerned to preserve the unity of the kingdom by maintaining the old religion, he became equally hostile to the Protestant innovations and the reactionary measures of the Catholic League. Montaigne asserts the true faith: a pure gift from God that cannot be reduced to cultural contingencies. He had a good knowledge of current theological debates but chose not to discuss the Church dogmas. Like an anthropologist, he studied the human side of Christianity. He preferred to use a secular discourse, however “very religious,” to broach the question of faith in profane terms but without challenging its religious foundation.

Keywords: religion, God, faith, Christianity, Catholics, Protestants, censorship, theology

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