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For and Against the Bible
A Translation of Sylvain Maréchal’s Pour et Contre la Bible (1801)

The first ever translation of the famed French Revolutionary Sylvain Maréchal's biblical commentary provides invaluable insight into the origins of secularism.An extraordinary book of radical Bible commentary for specialists that will also appeal to philosophical atheists looking to understand eighteenth century European rationalism in its most radical forms.

In this first translation of Sylvain Maréchal's Bible commentary, Sheila Delany offers an important document in the history of modern European secularization and rationalist Bible criticism. Editor of one of France's best-known radical journals, Révolutions de Paris, and author in many genres—drama, poetry, journalism, treatise—Maréchal (1750-1803) embraced the revolutionary egalitarian ideas of François-Noél "Gracchus" Babeuf. As an atheist, he witnessed with dismay the advent of Napoleon and the post-revolutionary return of Catholic fervor. For and Against the Bible was his protest, his reminder of what the nation had endured and of what, at the opening of the nineteenth century, it might still accomplish. Delany’s introduction and annotated English translation will be of importance to all interested in Jewish or Christian Bible studies, history of Bible criticism, eighteenth century European rationalism, French atheism, modern European secularism.

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