Charles Guignebert

Charles Guignebert (1867–1939) was born in the Val-de-Marne, into a family of artisans that was not particularly pious. Despite his secular upbringing he became interested in the history of Christianity and studied under Ernest Renan, obtaining a doctorate in the field with a thesis on Tertullian. From 1906 he was a professor of history at the Sorbonne. In 1919 Guignebert assumed the chair of the History of Christianity faculty there, a position he held until 1937. With Alfred Loisy, Guignebert was among the first to adopt a scientific rather than confessional approach to Christian history. “The gospels are texts of propaganda,” he wrote, “calculated to organize and authenticate the legend represented in the sacred drama of the sect by making … Continue reading