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S.J. Barnett

assert that hermetic seals or Chinese walls between social orders were possible in early modern Europe? Voltaire was able to launch his defence of the persecuted Huguenot Calas family in 1762–63 precisely because of the climate of opinion against the established clergy which had resulted, much against the will of King and government, in the suppression of the Jesuits in 1762. Voltaire joined the struggle against religious intolerance when he, for reasons not yet clear, felt he could no longer effectively ignore religious persecution as he had done for decades. We know

in The Enlightenment and religion
Open Access (free)
Roman ‘tyranny’ and radical Catholic opposition
S.J. Barnett

example of how misleading it can be to attempt to build a Chinese wall between the enlightened and non-enlightened. In this period it was at times those very state imperatives that could provide the appropriate political conditions for the expression of reforming/enlightened thought. We know, for instance, that in some cases the intellectual calls for the abolition of the Inquisition Tribunal were published only after the process of legislation against them had already begun. To emphasize the need to comprehend the diversity of Enlightenment political and social

in The Enlightenment and religion