Date of Award

Spring 4-26-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Denise Davidson

Second Advisor

Jared Poley


On December 9, 1905, newspapers announced the French Third Republic had passed the Law on the Separation of the Churches and the State. This law dissolved the complex relationship that had existed between the French state and the Catholic Church and ended the public role of religion. However, while religious conviction seemed to be on the wane within the French metropole, public discourse in the early twentieth century regarding the impending French seizure of Morocco consistently referred to the French populace as “Christians” while the Moroccans were collectively labeled as “Muslim savages.” This thesis argues that the French media, government, and other public figures generated the concept of a “Christian France” in order to underline the moral and civilizational superiority of a supposedly unified French civilization in relation to the inhabitants of Morocco.