Thèse soutenue par Sébastien Brodeur-Girard
Préparée sous la direction de Dominique Julia
Président du jury : Mme Susan Dalton, Professeure adjointe à l'université de Montréal
Jury : Mme Dominique Deslandres, Professeure agrégée à l'université de Montréal (Directrice de thèse)
M. Pierre-Antoine Fabre, Directeur d'études à l'EHESS
Mme Antonella Romano, Chargée de recherche au CNRS
Spécialité : Histoire et civilisations
The influences and representations of the Jesuits in Diderot and D'Alembert's Encyclopédie
The animosity of Jesuits against French philosophers, in 18th century, and in particular against Diderot and d'Alembert's Encyclopédie, is a traditionnaly recognized feature. However, a close examination of the relations between the encyclopedists and the Company of Jesus gives us insight that is much more complex. Jesuits weren't particularly hostile to the partisans of Enlightenment: it was the philosophers who chose them as their particular enemies. The Jesuits' integration in the Republic of Letters seems to have been much more important than the philosophers discourse says. Jesuits are indeed very present in the Encyclopédie.
There is, in this book, a paradoxical double representation of the Jesuits. The first of these representations is negative and is inspired by anti-Jesuit stereotypes. The second, much more important, concerns the individual Jesuits who are mentionned in great number in the Encyclopédie. The encyclopédistes talk of the Jesuits, works without negative bias and judge them for their own value and not because they are affiliated with the Company of Jesus.
Beside the traditional negative representation of the Jesuits, there is an important intellectual link with the men of letters of the time, philosophers included. This brings us to a reevaluation of the exact role played by the Jesuits in the Republic of Letters, from the beginning of the 18th century to their suppression in 1762.