Sackett, Amber. “The Anti-Islam
Narrative in Diderot’s Entry ‘Sarrasins’ for the Encyclopédie (1751-1772).” McNair Scholars Journal, vol. 21, no. 1, Jan. 2017, https://scholarworks.gvsu.edu/mcnair/vol21/iss1/15.
Overall, the Encyclopédie is a work full of calls for freedoms and liberties and claimed to adopt a radically tolerant attitude towards religions and other groups that were ostracized by the monarchy and church. However, as Sackett demonstrates, the tolerant spirit was not at all universal. She quotes the article “Sarrasins” on the Islamic religion claiming that it is actually anti-Islam. Before diving into the article itself, Sackett examines the potential reasoning behind these sentiments. She first discusses Diderot’s tendency to attack other religions when he his real audience is the Catholic church, then what she names “Diderotian Style-Markers”, representing typical European views that likely shaped Diderot’s portrayal of the Muslims. Citing the article, Sackett draws out the sections where Diderot attacks the Christian God and the monarchy (sometimes without even mentioning Islam) and dehumanizes Muslims, refreshing readers’ preexisting beliefs. Overall, Sackett posits that the Encyclopédie was and is not able to accurately represent non-European cultures due to the biases and culture of Europe in the Enlightenment.
Country of Publication: United States
Main Classification: Language, Time
7/14/2020: Created page.