|November 17, 2011||Posted by webmaster under All text of Schweitzer Quest Jesus, chapter thirteen||
Ernest Renan. La Vie de Jésus. 1863. Paris, Michel Lévy Fréres. 462 pp.
E. de Pressense. Jésus-Christ, son temps, sa vie, son œuvre. Paris, 1865.
ERNEST RENAN WAS BORN IN 1823 AT TREGUIER IN BRITTANY. INTENDED for the priesthood, he entered the seminary of St. Sulpice in Paris, but there, in consequence of reading the German critical theology, he began to doubt the truth of Christianity and of its history. In October 1845, shortly before the time arrived for him to be ordained a sub-deacon, he left the seminary and began to work for his living as a private teacher. In 1849 he received a government grant to enable him to make a journey to Italy for the prosecution of his studies, the fruits of which appeared in his Averroès et l’’Averroisme (Paris, 1852); in 1856 he was made a member of the Académie des Inscriptions; in 1860 he received from Napoleon III. the means to make a journey to Phoenicia and Syria. After his return in 1862 he obtained the professorship of Semitic Languages at the Collège de France. But the widespread indignation aroused by his Life of Jesus, which appeared in the following year, forced the Government to remove him from his office. He refused a post as Librarian of the Imperial Library, and lived in retirement until the Republic of 1871 restored him to his professorship. In politics, as in religion, his position was somewhat indefinite. In religion he was no longer a Catholic; avowed free-thought was too plebeian for his taste, and in Protestantism the multiplicity of sects repelled him. Similarly in politics, in the period immediately following the fall of the Empire, he was in turn Royalist, Republican, and Bonapartist. At bottom he was a sceptic. He died in 1892, already half-forgotten by the public; until his imposing funeral and interment in the Panthéon recalled him to its memory.
Albert Schweitzer's The Quest of the Historical Jesus
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