A French polemical writer of the early years of the nineteenth century, b. in Paris, date unknown; d. 1812. He came from a family of bankers. He published anonymously in 1801 his first book, "L'antidote de l'athéisme", and the following year a new edition appeared, enlarged to two volumes, with its title changed to "La religion triomphante des attentats de l'impiété", and bearing the name of its author. The book was written to refute Sylvien Maréchal's "Dictionnaire des Athées" then lately published, and was so timely, fair, and to the point that it received a cordial welcome. Marechal himself acknowledged his adversary's moderation. Cardinal Gerdil expressed his high appreciation of the work, and Portalis, to whom Alea had dedicated the second edition, was delighted with the book, and subsequently tried to get the author to enter the Council of State but without success. Alea's only other work is "Réflexions contre le divorce", which also appeared in 1802.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online