Charles François Dupuis
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Dupuis, Charles François
Born Oct. 26, 1742, in Trie-Chateau; died Sept. 29, 1809, in Is-sur-Tille. French political leader, philosopher, atheist. Member of the Academy of Inscriptions (1788).
In 1792, Dupuis was elected a member of the Convention, where he aligned himself with the Girondins. During the Directory (1795-99) he was a member of the Council of Five Hundred. His main work was The Origin of All Cults, or Universal Religion, in which he developed a theory ascribing the origin of all religious myths to astral representations (he saw in them an allegorical account of the movement of the heavenly bodies). Dupuis denied the historicity of Christ, whom he viewed as a mythological image of the sun. The beginning of the mythological school (the tendency in the bourgeois historiography of Christianity that denies Christ’s historicity) is associated with his name.