Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Cult of Reason
The Cult of Reason (French: Culte de la Raison) was a religion based on deism devised by Jacques Hébert, Pierre Gaspard Chaumette and their supporters, in opposition to the Cult of the Supreme Being instituted by Maximilien Robespierre.
The Cult of Reason was intended to complement, in the religious sphere, the radical opposition of the enragés to Robespierre's political project. In particular, Chaumette and Hébert objected to Robespierre's emphasis on the Supreme Being as a back-handed return to theism, and instead advocated the worship of Reason, personified as a goddess. The Cult of Reason enjoyed a certain support among the sans-culottes before the persecution of the Hébertistes drove it underground. Both cults, however, were the outcome of the "de-Christianization" of French society during the Revolution, and suffered during the Thermidorian reaction and Napoléon Bonaparte's rapprochement with Roman Catholicism.
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