Les lumières au service des miracles

Translated title of the contribution: The Enlightenment at the Service of Miracles

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This essay sets out to analyse the distinctive and very modern ideas of Joseph-Marie Lequinio, a remarkable spokesman for a rural society that he knew inside out. He imagines himself as a philosopher of the countryside, as a reader of the great thinkers of the Enlightenment, a political stakeholder in the Revolution, and a first-hand witness of the destitution of common people. This dictates a simple style aimed at realising a republican awareness of things as they are – which alone may lead to the implementation of the revolutionary aims according to the Declaration of the Rights of Man. Lequinio’s pedagogy is bold : while in favour of education for all boys and girls, he thinks education should fit the specific needs of everyone through different syllabi and methods. For him, education is also egalitarian insofar as it leads to individual self-sufficiency. The texts he wrote during the Revolution combine a moral defence of toleration and a social philosophy rooted in the everyday experience of country people.
Translated title of the contributionThe Enlightenment at the Service of Miracles
Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)175-188
Number of pages14
JournalDix-Huitieme Siecle
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2007


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