The French Revolution (beginning in 1789) was a major turning point in the history of Europe, government, Christendom, secularization of society, and the Church. What began as the French bourgeoisie revolting against its wealthy and indifferent upper class and monarchy resulted in the demise of European Christendom and the beginning of modern secularism that still dominates western civilization today. How did it all happen so quickly after nearly 1000 years of society begin held together by a tenuous marriage between the Christian monarchies and the Church? Mark Noll, Christian historian and author of the excellent book Turning Points explains the background, causes, chief ideas and ideals driving the French Revolution, and the fallout of “the long century” beginning with the promise of the Revolution and ending sadly in the despair of World War I. See below for a summary of Noll’s chapter on the French Revolution, along with a few links for further reading/viewing.
One Nation Under Secularism: France’s peculiar aversion to public religiosity is rooted in a sordid history of sectarian violence.
European Christianity’s “Failure to Thrive”: Why Christendom, born with an imperial bang, is now fading away in an irrelevant whimper.