The Massacre Of St. Bartholomew's Day

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The massacre of St. Bartholomew's Day and Michael Montaigne essay (1575)

The Massacre of St. Bartholomew's Day and Michael Montaigne Essay


Every society is committed to the use of direct violence, if only to defend itself against outside and inside enemies. In developed societies, however, the state usually claims a monopoly on the use of violence. Violence inside the state is regulated by its laws and structured by its justice system, violence against other states by concepts of warfare, among which the Roman notion of the bellum iustum, or just war, had the most important transhistorical consequences. In polytheistic systems, both law and warfare are protected by such specific deities as the Greek Zeus, the guardian of justice inside society, and Athena, the goddess of properly conducted defensive wars of the city-state of Athens.

Christian Identity is an obscure but virulent belief system whose origins date back to nineteenth-century England. Its basic tenet is that white Europeans are the descendants of the lost tribes of Israel, and thus represent God's true chosen people. People of other races are a lesser type of human being, according to Christian Identity. The belief system was not originally anti-Semitic, but in the 1930s became so when its leaders concocted a story that the Jews were descended from the snake in the biblical Garden of Eden story. Christian Identity attracts extreme white supremacists, many of whom have committed violent crime. Since the 1980s, believers have been implicated in a series of domestic terrorism incidents. This paper discusses the views of Montaigne and Thou, Jacques-Auguste de in relation with religious violence in Christianity particularly the Massacre of St. Bartholomew's Day.


Religion is the most powerful symbolic system humans have developed. Throughout history, religion and violence have been in close contact. The detailed history of this contact still has to be written, although there is no lack of research on individual epochs and episodes, often stimulated by contemporary events. (Claster, 2009)

The early modern period witnessed three key developments in European society. The first was the Reformation, which radically changed the theory and practice of religious life and destroyed the façade of Christian religious unity. The wars of the period were fought over religious matters or at least used religious rhetoric. In the course of these conflicts, Europeans defined what they believed about God and the churches and their relationship with the individual and the state. The second key development was the discovery of the New World, which resulted in the colonisation of the newly discovered territories and the establishment of new and very successful trade routes. The third key development was the so-called Scientific Revolution that was interwoven with major transformation in philosophical, educational and political theory. Many new ideas were introduced to a growing part of the society through the printing press. It was an era of great change and development.

Religious Violence, Montaigne and Thou, Jacques-Auguste de

After the 1560s, religious fanaticism, both Protestant and Catholic, combined with pragmatic politics to form ...
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