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The criticisms of religion in the novel candide by voltaire

Arguably the most influential of those was the Catholic Church, which was considered sacred and above the state in authority and importance. Although Voltaire was a deist, he despised the Church clergy for its corruption, impiousness, and hypocrisy. Having been sexually used by teachers while attending a Jesuit school, he harbored a special hatred towards the Jesuits. Yet his abhorrence of religion extended past Catholicism.

Voltaire condemned Protestant clergy in much the same way as Catholic priests. Muslim clerics were described in much the same way. Clearly, Voltaire hated all religious institutions and customs. In his most satirical and important work, Candide, he incessantly mocks not only the Catholic Church, but also Protestants, Jews, and Muslims. This passage, apart from being a parody of Bible genealogies, illustrates the lack of celibacy of respectable Church members, contrary to their own doctrines.

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  • After escaping from a battle between Bulgars and Abares, Candide reaches a Protestant orator who has just finished talking about the importance of charity to an assembly;
  • In reality, this is a horrible predicament to be involved with;
  • The orator represented the Christian theologians who lectured and debated on charity and doctrine while ignoring the real problems of poverty and disease;
  • Even today, his writings and treatises are considered the pinnacle of the Enlightenment and an influential cause for the French Revolution;
  • Even though efforts to reform the Church were brought forward through Calvinism and the Council of Trent, Voltaire shows disdain for the major principles of organized religion in the 18th century.

We'll occasionally send you account related and promo emails. Voltaire shows the promiscuity of the Catholic clergy in several other instances, such as through the Grand Inquisitor who hypocritically has a mistress, Cunegonde.

The author also introduces the daughter of a Pope, who fails to help her out of her hardships. Voltaire also satirizes the corruption of the Jesuits through Cacambo, who is talking about Paraguay Candide, Chapter 14, pg.

The Padres have everything, the people nothing. This truth is expressed by Brother Giroflee Candide, Chapter 24, pg.

Candide, by Voltaire

However, in criticizing the clergy, Voltaire attacked Catholics and Protestants without distinction, believing them both to be corrupt and impractical. Although there is only one such example for a Protestant minister in Candide, it clearly reveals the hypocrisy of the clergy.

After escaping from a battle between Bulgars and Abares, Candide reaches a Protestant orator who has just finished talking about the importance of charity to an assembly. Voltaire clearly structured the passage to be especially ironic. The orator represented the Christian theologians who lectured and debated on charity and doctrine while ignoring the real problems of poverty and disease.

Perhaps the most intriguing satirical religious comments in Candide refer to non-Christians — most importantly, to Jews and Muslims. Need Help With Your Essay? Similarly, Voltaire includes an ironic passage in which a faction of one of the sons of Emperor Muley Ismael kills the pirates that abducted the old woman Candide, Chapter 11, pg.

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Apart from showing that the Turks valued military duty over life, the description of the imam is dripping with satire. Voltaire also ridicules the punishments given by Muslim cadis.

  • This truth is expressed by Brother Giroflee Candide, Chapter 24, pg;
  • This character is Martin, a friend and advisor of Candide who he meets on his journey;
  • However, in criticizing the clergy, Voltaire attacked Catholics and Protestants without distinction, believing them both to be corrupt and impractical;
  • Having been sexually used by teachers while attending a Jesuit school, he harbored a special hatred towards the Jesuits;
  • Voltaire also satirizes the corruption of the Jesuits through Cacambo, who is talking about Paraguay Candide, Chapter 14, pg.

As is clear, Candide shows the hypocrisy of religious institutions and officials through exaggerations and satire. Voltaire even contrasts the corrupt religions of the Old World with the simple, thankful religion of the natives of El Dorado.

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However, Voltaire did not criticize devout believers, such as the Anabaptists. Rather, he set out to purify European society of its flaws through respectable means. Even today, his writings and treatises are considered the pinnacle of the Enlightenment and an influential cause for the French Revolution.