Jansenism

   A movement of religious reform, especially in 17th-and 18th-century France, Jansenism takes its name from the Flemish bishop and theologian Cornelius Jansen, whose ideas were summarized in the treatise Augustinus (1640). using the philosophy of st. Augustine, Jansen supported the doctrine of absolute predestination. in this respect, his ideas closely resemble Calvinism, and Jansen and his followers were often accused of being Protestant. The Jan-senists always stated their adherence to Catholicism, however, and taught that salvation was possible only inside the Roman Catholic Church. As practiced in France, especially by Jansen's associate jean duvergier de hauranne, the abbot of Saint-Cyran, Jansenism entailed an austere form of piety and a rigorous morality. This was in contrast to the more tolerant ethics favored by the Jesuits and others at the time. From the 1640s on, the spiritual center of Jansenism was the convent of Port-Royal-des-Champs, near Paris, where nobles, government officials, and sympathetic thinkers often made religious retreats. Almost from the start, Jansenism aroused the hostility of both the Jesuits and the royal government. In 1635, five of Jansen's propositions were condemned by the pope. various Jansenist theologians and philosophers, including blaise pascal, defended the movement while attacking the Jesuits. Finally, in 1713, under pressure from louis XIV, the pope, in his papal bull Unigenitus, condemned the remainder of Jansenist writings. Port-Royal had already been closed and razed in 1709 by the king's orders. Nonetheless, during the 18th century, Jansenism continued to have a wide appeal in France, especially among the parish clergy. The movement also spread to other parts of Europe, including Austria, italy, and spain. in France, the Jansenists allied themselves with gallicanism, and the civil courts often defended Jansenist claims to church rites. The greatest triumph of Jansenism came in the 1760s, when the parlementary courts expelled the Jesuits from France. After the revolution of 1789, the Jansenists generally accepted the Civil Constitution of the Clergy but fought against the revolution's later antireligious policies. A small Jansenist Church, founded in 1724, still exists today in the Netherlands.

France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present . 1884.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Jansenism — Jansenist, n. Jansenistic, Jansenistical, adj. /jan seuh niz euhm/, n. the doctrinal system of Cornelis Jansen and his followers, denying free will and maintaining that human nature is corrupt and that Christ died for the elect and not for all… …   Universalium

  • Jansenism — noun The Catholic doctrines of and his followers, which emphasise original sin, divine grace and predestination …   Wiktionary

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