French Writer. After his stellar work at the college at Treguier, he was invited to intend the newly organized St. Nicholas du Chardonnet, an ecclesiastical college in Paris. In 1844, he transferred to St. Sulpice to complete his studies in philology prior to entering into a religious order. However, this line of study caused him to discover Biblical discrepancies in terms of historical place and time vs. dogmatic place and time. In "Recollections of Childhood and Youth" he addressed his growing intellectual conflict between his religion and science. Science won out and he left the seminary and began to teach. In 1847, the publication of "General History of Semitic Language" garnered him the Volney prize from the Academy of Inscriptions and he obtained his doctorate of philosophy. Although he had completed his "The Future of Science" in 1848, he did not publish it in until 1890. By 1956, he had married Cornelie, daughter of two French painters. Both of their offspring, Cornelius Ary and Noemi would follow in artistic careers. Following a research trip to Lebanon in 1860 and to the Middle East the following year, he began work on his "Life of Jesus." Prior to the publication, he was appointed to the chair of Hebrew at the College de France. During a lecture, he referred to Jesus as "an incomparable man." This seemingly slur on Jesus' divinity caused immediately outrage. He was suspended. When the book was published in 1863, it was denounced by the church. In it, he ruminated that the Bible should be subject to the same scientific scrutiny as any other historical document. The "Life of Jesus" was the first volume in his "History of the Origins of Christianity." This seven volume series would take eighteen years to complete. The Franco-Prussian War would shift his thinking concerning France's future. His 1882 lecture "What is a Nation" defines nationalism as a common soul, united by past efforts, sacrifices, and glories and a shared ambition for future achievement. In 1883, he published his autobiography "Souvenirs d'enhance et de Jeunesse. " At sixty years old, he started his history of "Israel." The last two volumes were published after this death. During his lifetime, he was an administrator of the College de France and grand officer of the Legion of Honor. A statute of Renan was erected in the Treguier Town Square in Brittany, France after his death and in 1909, the armored cruiser "Ernest Renan" was built by the French Navy and saw action during World War I. His many books remain in circulation today.
Bio by: Winter Birds PA