Did you know? Jean Meslier, great theoretician of atheism


Did you know that the greatest atheist theorist of all time was probably Jean MESLIER, 1664-1729, a simple country priest in rural France under the ancien régime and author of Mémoire contre la religion (Treatise Against Religion)? The manuscript of this work was found among his personal effects after his death in 1729. In it, Meslier constructs a systematic critique of Christianity in particular and of all religion in general and he establishes a complete theory of atheism and philosophical materialism.


  • “No Heaven, No Possessions,” Priest Jean Meslier (1664-1729), Theoretician of Atheism Serving the People, talk given by Serge DERUETTE at the Atheists Without Borders convention in Octobre 2010.
  • Mémoire contre la religion (Treatise Against Religion) Jean MESLIER, vicar of Étrépigny, Éditions coda, 2007.
  • Lire Jean Meslier, Curé et athée révolutionnaire, Introduction au mesliérisme et extraits de son oeuvre (Reading Jean Meslier, Priest and Atheist Revolutionary, Introduction to Meslierism and excerpts from his work), Serge DERUETTE, Éditions Aden, 2008.