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Funerals, Politics, and Memory in Modern France, 1789–1996$
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Avner Ben-Amos

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198203285

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198203285.001.0001

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Funerals of Scientists, Writers, and Musicians

Funerals of Scientists, Writers, and Musicians

(p.235) 8 Funerals of Scientists, Writers, and Musicians
Funerals, Politics, and Memory in Modern France, 1789–1996

Avner Ben-Amos

Oxford University Press

Following the positivism of Auguste Comte, Jules Ferry and the other founding fathers of the Third Republic believed that ‘science will replace religion as the Republic replaced the monarchy, and scientific education will play the same social role that religion used to play. It will develop the scientific spirit and create the spiritual conditions for national unity’. The application of scientific methods to the study and government of society in order to ameliorate the human condition was a common theme of the Enlightenment, and when the Third Republic became republican it seemed as though Comte's positivist and superior age had finally come. What was known as ‘scientism’ became part of the republican doctrine, and Ferry's educational reforms aimed at increasing the place of science and the ‘scientific spirit’ in school. This chapter focuses on the state funerals of scientists, writers, and musicians in France during the period 1789–1996, from Claude Bernard and Louis Pasteur to émile Roux, Maurice Barrès, Anatole France, Charles Gounod, Gabriel Fauré, and Camille Saint-Saëns.

Keywords:   France, state funerals, Third Republic, scientists, writers, musicians, Claude Bernard, Louis Pasteur, Anatole France, Charles Gounod

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