Moments of Islamic and Orientalist Discourse in the Anticlerical Perspective of Voltaire

Edvin Cami


In his well-known anticlerical views, part of the larger context of the Enlightenment’s anticlericalism, Voltaire seems to represent an interesting case, as he utilizes phenomena and features of other religions to exert implicit criticism to Christianity. His tragedy Le fanatisme ou Mahomet le prophète, although focused in the character of the Prophet Muhammad, rather than criticizing the latter, seems to imply sharp criticism to religion in general and especially to Christianity and the Church. On the contrary, Voltaire even appraises the Prophet Muhammad in many cases for the way he established a new religion and fought against the old order. But even in such praise, he manifests an orientalist approach based on what N. Daniel called “doctrine about doctrine” and seems to support all the already traditional views on Islam and the Islamic society, established in the West since the middle ages.

DOI: 10.5901/ajis.2013.v2n2p515

Full Text: PDF

Licenza Creative Commons
This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies ISSN 2281 3993(Print) ISSN 2281-4612(Online)

Copyright © MCSER-Mediterranean Center of Social and Educational Research

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders..