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.
"Fear prophets and those prepared to die for the truth," says Eco, "for as a rule they make many others die with them, often before them, at times instead of them."