Religious and social philosopher who made a considerable impact on the Romantic writers and played an important part in the development of French thought in the early decades of the 19th century.
The Romantics were attracted by his rejection of 18th-century Rationalism and by the poetic and oracular style in which he expressed his religious and social theories.
Basically a Catholic, he read widely among the mystical authors of the past and of his own time.
In Du sentiment considéré dans ses rapports avec la littérature et les arts (1801) he expressed views on the role of religious emotion in art that foreshadow Chateaubriand´s influential landmark of Romanticism, Le Génie du christianisme.
In the postRevolutionary era he reconsidered the basis and functions of human society in the light of his religious opinions.