The older Protestantism uncompromisingly judged the monastic ideal and life to be both unchristian and unnatural, an absolute perversion deserving nothing but condemnation.
Historical criticism may regard this tradition, in many of its features, as mere fiction, or as a perversion of facts made for the purpose of transferring the blame for the loss of a sacred literature to other persons than those actually responsible for it.
Thus Paulinism and its perversion alike are in the past.
Although his making religion the sole factor of this evolution was a perversion of the historical facts, the book was so consistent throughout, so full of ingenious ideas, and written in so striking a style, that it ranks as one of the masterpieces of the French language in the 19th century.
The word Sadism, meaning a form of sexual perversion, is derived from his name.