Talk:Ernest Renan

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Vie de Jesus[edit]

Amazing -- this doesn't mention his bestselling "Vie de Jesus." Not my field or period (or preference) so I won't put it in .—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 23:05, 22 November 2003

I have at least put it in, but this page still needs masses of work, and lets down an interesting chap -- Rob

Siblings of Celebrities[edit]

Henriette had accepted in the family of Count Zamoyski an engagement more lucrative than her former place. She exercised the strongest influence over her brother, and her published letters reveal a mind almost equal, a moral nature superior, to his own.

Where can one find her published letters? And do you know more on this Count Zamoyski: full name,marital status,position,and duration of association with Henriette Renan?—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 08:56, 26 February 2004

On Daniel and the Apocrypha[edit]

This entry claims that Renan called the book of Daniel apocryphal. This is preposterous since "apocryphal" means "not in the canon" -- and Daniel is certainly in the canon of scripture for both Christians and Jews. I looked up original entry in the 1911 Britannica, and I noticed that the error began there. Be that as it may, I changed the entry here in Wikipedia, assuming that a clear and correct meaning is more important than being loyal to the 1911 Britannica. Perhaps Renan argued that the book of Daniel ought to be apocryphal; I don't know. I do know that he made a case in the Vie de Jésus that Daniel is a very late book, a view with which modern Biblical scholars agree. --Hapax 21:15, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

according to wikipedia: Apocraphy "are texts of uncertain authenticity or writings where the authorship is questioned."--Dwarf Kirlston 13:08, 7 November 2007 (UTC)


"He did indeed write that if "the essential element of a nation is that all its individuals must have many things in common," they "must also have forgotten many things. Every French citizen must have forgotten the night of St. Bartholomew and the massacres in the 13th century in the South.""

sounds a bit biased? like someone doesn't like the french... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:51, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

What on earth are you talking about? Renan was French. Paul B (talk) 15:31, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

Date of death[edit]

There seem to be 2 schools of thought: 2 October or 12 October. Can anyone verify the exact date? -- JackofOz (talk) 06:45, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

Vital dates - revisited[edit]

It's both his vital dates that show discrepancies. I've done a quick survey of Renan's articles in other languages and these are the results:

  • born 27 February, died 2 October: Czech, German, Latin, Slovenian
  • born 27 February, died 12 October: Spanish
  • born 28 February, died 2 October: Esperanto, French, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian
  • born 28 February, died 12 October: English, Dutch, Swedish, Turkish
  • born 27 or 28 February, died 12 October: Bulgarian
  • born 23 February, died 2 October: Welsh.

I haven't checked any of the talk pages, but not a single one of these articles makes any reference to the fact that his vital dates seem to be a matter of opinion rather than of fact.

We really do need to get to the bottom of this. Does anyone have authoritative information about either date? -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 09:53, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

  • October 2. Henry Brewster mentioned his death in a letter of October 9 1872. "...when Renan died in 1892 Brewster mourned his passing as follows: "Renan's death is the loss of a friend to me. I rejoiced to see him honoured. I think he is the only man to whom I owe the debt of intellectual gratitude one owes one's master." (Letter to Ethel Smyth dated October 9, 1892)" From Martin Halpern, Henry B. Brewster (1850-1908): An Introduction, in American Quarterly, Vol. 14, No. 3 (Autumn, 1962), pp. 464-482

(, p. 478 (n.24). Eusebeus (talk) 17:33, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

He definitely died on October 2. Renan's early biographer William Francis Barry says he was born on 27th Feb (p.4) . However, Lewis Freeman gives evidence that he was born on the 28th, since the birth certificate is reproduced in Théophile Janvrais' Ernest Renan en Bretagne. There is also a letter sent by his sister on his birthday, which is dated 28th. For some unknown reason Renan apparently sometimes told people his birthday was the 27th, and that date appeared in some early biographies. Paul B (talk) 21:56, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Thanks folks. To forestall future good-faith edits based on erroneous sources, it might be good to mention the discrepancy among sources, and explain why we prefer the dates we show. -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 02:10, 12 September 2010 (UTC)


This random quote qwas added without source: "We aspire not to equality but to domination. The country of a foreign race must again be a country of serfs, of agricultural laborers or industrial workers. It is not a question of eliminating the inequalities among men but of broadening them and making them law." I think it's from Caliban, but we need to source it. Paul B (talk) 15:48, 5 February 2009 (UTC)


Phrases like "the splendour of the cosmos" sound as though they have been translated from French. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:45, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

The florid language derives from the Encyclopædia Britannica (Eleventh ed.), from which much of this article is copied verbatim. Paul B (talk) 13:50, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Ernest Renan/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Page still needs a lot of work. Rated as B in WikiProject Biography.--Dwarf Kirlston 13:21, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
While seriously lacking in references does treat most headings properly, fulfills all Start Article Criteria.--Dwarf Kirlston 13:24, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

Last edited at 13:24, 7 November 2007 (UTC). Substituted at 14:38, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

"defensing discourse"[edit]

"defensing discourse". That's not English, is it? Or did the person who wrote it mean to write something like "defensive discourse"? Can the author rewrite or explain, please? Thanks. (talk) 09:59, 12 September 2016 (UTC)

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Ernest Renan: French Nationalist?[edit]

Continued from User talk: Renan: French Nationalist?. @ Currently the article only refers to his belief in the superiority with regards to Africa. That would be eurocentrism but not nationalism. I would indicate inclusion within the article of a description of Renan as a nationalist previous or at the same time that the Category:French nationalists is included. Ernest Renan is also not mentioned neither in nationalism nor in French nationalism. He has works on the nation, and I do not necessarily dispute that he believes in the superiority of his nation, but even then I think the specific label nationalist would be WP:Original Research unless used by WP:Reliable Sources. I tried searching in google for both {"Ernest Renan was a nationalist"} and {"ernest renan, nationalist"} and neither found any sources. It seems the article as it is reports accurately on how he is seen by RS: "He is best known for his influential historical works on early Christianity, and his political theories, especially concerning nationalism and national identity." - As a thinker of nationalism but not a nationalist himself, as I understand it he defined the nation in What is a Nation?, if nation is still being defined in his era, if it is still not a solid concept, I think perhaps that is a good reason for RS to reject labeling him a nationalist.--User:Dwarf Kirlston - talk 13:50, 26 February 2017 (UTC)