Freethought Almanac

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February 27: Ernest Renan (1823)

It was on this date, February 27, 1823, that French scholar Joseph Ernest Renan was born. Destined for the priesthood, and having taken minor orders, Renan gave up those studies after reading German philosophy. He remained a Pantheist throughout his life. But he angered the clergy and lost this position by publishing his Life of Jesus (Vie de Jésus, 1863) — which, nevertheless, sold 300,000 copies in France alone…

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Originally published February 2003 by Ronald Bruce Meyer.

Ronald Bruce Meyer

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June 9: Bertha von Suttner for Peace

In her “Memoirs” Von Suttner remarked that if she had been asked in her youth to describe her religion, she would have said, "None – I am too religious."



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