10-Minute Talks: Napoleon and God
by Professor William Doyle FBA
5 May 2021
The world’s leading professors explain the latest thinking in the humanities and social sciences in just 10 minutes.
Napoleon had no religion, but he spent much of his career dealing with it. In this talk to mark the bicentenary of his death, William Doyle discusses how Napoleon saw that the upheavals of the French Revolution could never be ended unless its quarrel with the Catholic Church could be settled. This meant negotiating with the pope. Most of Napoleon's henchmen opposed the concordat which he concluded with Rome in 1801, but most French people welcomed it. Later, emperor and pope fell out, but public worship was never threatened again, as the pope always acknowledged with gratitude.
He is the author of The Oxford History of the French Revolution.
Speaker: Professor William Doyle FBA, Professor Emeritus of History and Senior Research Fellow, University of Bristol