A Colloquium at the Université Jean Moulin Lyon III , 9-10 June 2012 inaugurated the dictionary projects that I present here. (See the poster below left.) Entitled "Gouverner une église en révolution: Histoires et mémoires de l’épiscopat constitutionnel," the colloquium brought together a group of scholars from France, England, and the United States who were working on the history of the Catholic Church during the French Revolution. The executive committee comprised Bernard Plongeron, Jacques-Olivier Boudon, Philippe Bourdin, Paul Chopelin and myself. To complement an introductory and a keynote lecture by Bernard Plongeron, participant communications explored the formation and role of the constitutional bishops, relative to the papal court, under several political regimes, and in individual regions of France. All these papers are now published in the Documents series of Chrétiens et Sociétés, a review edited by the group RESEA (Religions, Sociétés et Acculturation), Université de Lyon III, and can be ordered from the following site: http://larhra.ish-lyon.cnrs.fr/node/4283. (See the cover below right.)
The colloquium and its subsequent publication comprise the foundation of our projected Dictionnaire des évêques constitutionnels, with entries on the individual bishops and the episcopal vicars, as well as on pertinent theological and political themes. Beginning with a team of about twenty scholars, we are recruiting colleagues from regions across France to explore the relevant holdings in departmental and other archives. The core committee for this enterprise was made up of Rodney Dean, Jean Dubray, Michel Deblock, Valérie Murger, Guillaume Colot, and Emmanuel Lacam. Soon, online portals will enable us to edit and coordinate the dictionary entries as they come in. There is an important and related second project: an online repertoire (by département) of the constitutional priests.
For The Two Projects:
Relative to the Dictionnaire des evêques constitutionnels, we offer an introduction and sampling of the constitutional church data that is pertinent to the work of the Dictionnaire committee and participants, beginning with the classical work of Paul Pisani, Répertoire biographique de l’épiscopat constitutionnel (1791-1802), published in 1907, but now, for all its good points, in need of replacement by a less theologically biased work based on the latest archival research. Readers will find a pdf of the original Pisani text, and my own attempt to render the text workable for researchers complementing and replacing this research with their own entries. The final (brief) document is a basic draft of one of my dictionary entries, Henri Reymond.
The Pisani Text (PDF): Full Downloadable Text
Pisani Entries Rearranged by Joseph F. Byrnes: Full Downloadable Text
Basic Draft of Model Entry: Full Text
Relative to the online repertoire of the constitutional priests, we begin with a bibliography of sources that must be digitized to form a collection of repertoires (prosopographies). The bibliographies of these repertoires can be found in Xavier Maréchaux’s Noces révolutionnaires: Le mariage des prêtres en France, 1789-1815, and Timothy Tackett’s study of the ecclesiastical oath of 1789, Religion, Revolution, and Regional Culture in Eighteenth-Century France. The goal is to have an accessible list of those many thousands of priests, making available their basic coordinates, and their other theological, pastoral, and political partis pris, such as those Tackett has isolated in multiple chapters of his magisterial study. If we can arrive at statistical significance for some of these qualities, we would have an essential list of the “varieties of revolutionary priesthood.”
Maréchaux Online Repertoire (found once Visualiser command is clicked): Full Viewable Text
Model for Analysis-Louis Pérouas on the Creuse: Summary of Text
Bibliography by Département: Full Downloadable Text