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Etching of the festival of the Supreme Being, 8 June 1794.
Painting of the same festival
On the cathedral of Clermont-Ferrand, "The French people recognizes the Supreme Being and the immortality of the soul".

The Cult of the Supreme Being (French: Culte de l'Être suprême) was a form of deism devised by Maximilien Robespierre, intended to become the state religion after the French Revolution. [1] The cult represents an innovation in the "de-Catholicization" of French society during the Revolution, in that Robespierre sought to move beyond simple deism (often described as Voltairean by its adherents) to a new and, in his view, more rational devotion to the Godhead. (Compare the cult of Reason, advocated by Jacques Hébert and the enragés, and explicitly opposed to Robespierre's deistic concept of the Supreme Being.)

It became popular for ardent revolutionaries to baptise their children not in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit but of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity, the values of the French Revolution.

Robespierre's proclamation of the cult as the new state religion in 1794 was possibly one of the factors that prompted the Thermidorian Reaction, which counts The Cult of the Supreme Being among its victims.

See also


  1. ^ See The Revolutionary Career of Maximilien Robespierre by David P. Jordan University of Chicago Press, 1989 (Chapter 11),

External links

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