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Catholic Particularity in Seventeenth-Century French Writing'Christianity is Strange'$
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Richard Parish

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199596669

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199596669.001.0001

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Particularity and Polemic (i): Jansenism

Particularity and Polemic (i): Jansenism

(p.140) 6 Particularity and Polemic (i): Jansenism
Catholic Particularity in Seventeenth-Century French Writing

Richard Parish

Oxford University Press

This is again a two-chapter topic, dealing first here with the most notorious divergent spiritual movement of the period, known as Jansenism. It examines certain theories which serve to explain the phenomenon, and to assess its elements of conformity and divergence from perceived orthodoxy. It stresses the givenness of the Christian revelation, and the tensions involved in its articulation, usually condemned by their opponents as heresy. It considers the incomplete Écrits sur la grâce by Pascal in the light of theories of grace, free will, and predestination, strongly indebted to St Augustine, but above all stresses the polemical attack on the Jesuits (the Society of Jesus) in the domains of confession and communion as the central point of conflict, and suggests a possible reason for the attractiveness of Jansenism.

Keywords:   Jansenism, polemic, heresy, St Augustine, grace, free will, predestination, Jesuits, confession, communion

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