|Professor of Religion
Departmental Area: History and Ethnography of Religion
Address: Department of Religion
François Dupuigrenet Desroussilles graduated from the École nationale des Chartes and the Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales in Paris (1976). He was curator of rare books in the Bibliothèque nationale (1978-1995), director of the French national school for librarians, ENSSIB (1995-2005), visiting professor at the University of Italian Switzerland (1998-2005), scholar in residence at the Ecole normale supérieure Lettres et sciences humaines (2005-2006), and curator of rare books at the Institut de France (2006-2007) before becoming professor of Humanities at FSU in 2008 and switching to Religion in 2009. For thirty years he taught and published research on the Bible in early modern Europe, the mise en page of Latin poetry during the Renaissance and Baroque era, and the Italian book in France during the sixteenth century. He was a founding member of the Consortium of European Research Libraries and a member of its board (1991-2004), and president of the Institut d’étude du livre (1988-1994) and the Institut d’histoire du livre (2002-2005).
His main book, Dieu en son royaume, presently under major revision, emphasizes the constant metamorphosis of biblical texts in France between the time of Saint Louis and the French revolution. A rigorous bibliographical analysis of Biblical production and diffusion leads to studies of the Davidic image of French kings, the Biblical tragedies of Racine or the religious grands motets of seventeenth century court composers. It is this approach that led him to join the history of text technologies initiative where textual culture encompasses the whole process of production, reproduction, circulation and reception of “texts” intended in the very wide sense that D.F. McKenzie gave to the word in his “heretical classic” Bibliography and the Sociology of Texts (1985).
In parallel to his work in the history of the religious book he edited in French major authors in the history of Christian thought for the publisher Payot-Rivages: the Apocryphal Gospels in Voltaire’s translation, saint John, saint Augustine, Petrarch, Pascal, La Rochefoucauld.
Between 2007 and 2009, when he was a professor in the Humanities department, he taught graduate courses on The Bible as a Book (13th to 18th century) and The Visual Space of the Book. Antiquity to Twentieth Century. He is currently working on a book on Baroque religious Latin poetry, and one on French and English sovereigns and the Bible.
Research and Teaching Interests
- The Bible in Medieval and Early Modern Europe
- The Visual Space of Religious Baroque Poetry
- Christian Sensitivities during the Medieval and Early Modern Period
- Political Theology and the Birth the Modern State
- Dieu en son royaume. La Bible dans la France d’autrefois (13e-18e siècle), Paris, Editions du Cerf, 1991.
- Regards sur le livre (Art. Histoire. Technique), Paris, Editions du Sorbier, 1997.
- Trésors de la Bibliothèque nationale, Paris, Nathan, 1987.
- 2004. La Bible de Barbe Bleue. « Cahiers de médiologie » (17).
- 1999. La galaxie Tsaï-Loun. « Cahiers de médiologie » (6) Revised edition of a 1983 article published in “Traverses”, the journal of the Centre Pompidou.
- 1995. Les représentations du livre chez Clouet et Vélasquez. In La symbolique du livre dans l’art occidental du haut moyen âge à Rembrandt. Bordeaux: Société des bibliophiles de Guyenne.
- 1988. La contrefaçon des éditions bibliques de Port Royal. In Les Presses grises. La contrefaçon. Actes du colloque de Dijon, 12-14 mai 1987 Paris: Aux amateurs de livres.
- 1987. Pour une étude de la production catholique en français au XVIIIe siècle. In La Bible au siècle des Lumière. Paris: Beauchesne.
1984. Sept problèmes de l'édition port-royaliste du psautier en français. « Revue de la Bibliothèque nationale.
REL4304-1 / RLG5305-1 SEM: Reformation of the Bible
This course provides an introduction to the interactions between text cultures and the media technologies that shaped the way we produce, transmit, transform, receive and interpret creative representations of human experience. Because it is taught by a historian of medieval and early modern Christianity it focuses on representations of religious, mostly Christian, experience, from catacomb art and first Bibles to religious uses of the internet.
For graduate students it is a unique opportunity to be confronted with the material production and transformation of texts that they have thus far only known in the “two dimensional”, abstract space of modern editions and reproductions – be them illuminated medieval manuscripts of the lives of the saints, John Foxe’s Book of Martyrs or Milton’s Paradise Lost.
RLG5305-4 SEM: History of Rel: HOTT Gateway Course
REL3505 Christian Tradition
This course studies the major beliefs, practices, and institutional forms of Christianity in historical perspective. Meets Liberal Studies: Cultural Practice (LS-CUL).
REL4304-2 / RLG5305-2 SEM. History of Rel.: Holy Wars! Religious Violence in Medieval and Early Modern Europe
This course traces the idea of religiously sanctioned violence in medieval and early modern Europe. This violence, framed as an apocalyptical battle between the forces of good and evil, led to extreme uses of violence on all sides, from individual assassination to mass massacres. The Christian Church used it to justify the crusades against Muslims beginning in 1100, as a tool against heretics or schismatics well into the 15th c., and in the context of political conflicts such as the Hundred Years War. Bloody religious wars continued even when modern states began to form in the wake of the 16th c. Reformation and the break-up of Western Christianity. During the same period colonial expansion extended religious wars to the rest of the world, both by provoking conflicts between colonists of different faiths and by condoning the use of violence for the conversion of native populations considered as pagans. Confronted with the impossibility to resolve by war their religious differences European Christian states and parties came first to practice toleration as a necessary evil and then to build within Christianity doctrines of toleration. This course focuses on the large-scale production of religious treatises and pamphlets made possible by the new medium of print, as well as the multiplication of propaganda prints that hailed massacres, making their representation not an object of horror but a recruitment tool for the warring parties.