Saturday, December 3, 2016

Critique of religion and Jesuits

Voltaire consistently critiques most religious establishments in Candide. Everywhere Candide goes, he sees priests and other religious figures doing sacrilegious things such as having male lovers, having mistresses and children, and being more involved in war and the economy instead of religion. The Jesuit baron is a prime example of this. He becomes a Jesuit because he was a "pretty boy," which insinuateshomosexuality. Also, he is described as both a colonel and a priest. Finally, even after Candide buys him from slavery, the baron refuses to allow Candide to marry an ugly Cunegonde because his family history goes back one less mark than Cunegonde's.

4 comments:

Dylan Bryan said...

I think it is obvious at this point that Voltaire wrote Candide as a means to call out all people and opinions that he did not care for. A major focal point for him is organized religion and the Jesuits. He disagrees with the philosophy that "all is for the best," and constantly provides situations that argue against it. For example, following the earthquake in Lisbon, Candide and Pangloss are punished as a means of purifying the land of sinners to protect from future earthquakes. Immediately after they are punished, another earthquake hits. This is Voltaire's way of expressing that his disagreement with the belief of "all is for the best" and God has a reason for everything. Voltaire also portrays the Jesuits in a very negative light. He often implies their homosexuality and provides numerous examples of them being corrupt. He mentions the army the Jesuits, a religious group, formed and points out their sexual activity when they are supposed to be celibate.

Luke Jeanfreau said...

I think it is really important to not that, while Voltaire wholeheartedly disagrees with the Christian faith, he still believes that European Christian culture is supreme. You can see this in how he portrays the Turks in Candide as well as in various things he said throughout his life.

Rickeia Coleman said...

I don't think Voltaire necissarily disagree with religion as a whole, only organized religion and Catholicism. As we saw in Voltaire's version of Utopia, the people still worship a God even though it's not necissarily a Christian God. The people still worship and live perfectly happy lives so I think that Voltaire was trying to get across religious tolerance. However, it was clear Voltaire had a disliking for Islam and Muslim practices especially for destroying Christian history. So it's still hypocritical of Voltaire to be teaching religious tolerance while having such an intense hatred for Islam.

Bailey Taylor said...

Voltaire basically says that the church is hypocritical. Like how the church says that you cannot be sexually active because that's a sin but Voltaire makes a point that virtually every member of the church is having sex (some with other men which was even worse).