Unformatted text preview: On November 1, 1755, a terrifying earthquake occurred in Portugal and Spain. It occasioned the greatest of suffering in at least twenty towns and cities; hardest hit was Lisbon. An estimated number of 30,000 to 40,000 people were killed in the catastrophe, 15,000 of them in the city of Lisbon, where the destruction to property was appalling. Inevitably this event posed a most serious problem for the theologians and those who subscribed to the philosophy of optimism. The former, depending upon the concept of Original Sin and present-day wickedness, attributed the earthquake to God's wrath visited upon sinful people. The Protestant clergy in Northern Europe argued that the quake had occurred because most of the people of Lisbon were Roman Catholics. Among the Catholics, the anti-Jesuit and pro-Jansenists especially were vocal. And in Portugal's capital city, the clergy anti-Jesuit and pro-Jansenists especially were vocal....
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- Fall '11
- Voltaire, Tout est bien, earthquakes. Voltaire, virtuous. Voltaire, Mme. du Ch