Jansenists

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a mere housewife

Not your cup of tea
I've been reading The Provincial Letters and was wondering, besides Mary worship, what exactly is the difference between Calvinists and Jansenists? Where did they depart from Augustine and differ with Calvin? In the first two letters they sound right on (about effectual grace). Are they still around? And are they still so Augustinian-- or what happened to them?
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
I'm not an expert on Jansenism, but it seems to me that it was a reform movement within the Catholic Church that followed Calvinism's lead in the area of sovereign grace but not in areas of worship or ecclesiology. I have tremendous respect for Pascal personally and his writings have influenced me greatly, but I think of him as a fellow believer despite of his allegiance to Rome and not because of it.

Here is an interesting review of Jansenism and Calvinism:

http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Olympus/2961/jansen1.htm

Here are some discussions about this subject on the Board previously:

http://www.puritanboard.com/forum/viewthread.php?tid=2686

http://www.puritanboard.com/forum/viewthread.php?tid=5543

[Edited on 20-12-2004 by VirginiaHuguenot]
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
Jansenism had an interesting history. It was kinda the last haven of gospel sentiment within Rome and provided persecuted protestants an option if they were forced to return to Rome. The Jesuits finally weeded out the last of them from France along with the Huegonots. Most of the Jansensist fled to Holland. This all happened during the 1600's I believe. I don't think there would be many of them left, except perhaps in an Augustinian monastery somewhere.
 

a mere housewife

Not your cup of tea
Andrew & Patrick, thank you for the replies. Andrew, the web page review of Calvinism & Jansenism is exactly what I was hoping to find, thanks very much. I'm really enjoying The Provincial Letters. The Jesuits seem like such easy prey for Pascal.
 

ARStager

Puritan Board Freshman
Originally posted by puritansailor
The Jesuits finally weeded out the last of them from France along with the Huegonots. Most of the Jansensist fled to Holland. This all happened during the 1600's I believe. I don't think there would be many of them left, except perhaps in an Augustinian monastery somewhere.

Thanks for the links you provided. I was really into Dale Van Kley (formerly Calvin College, now Ohio State) and his book <i>The Religious Origins of the French Revolution: From Calvin to the Civil Constitution</i> over the summer. I heartily endorse it if you're interested in how Jansenists ("Calvinists who say Mass" as some put it) lost out religiously, but gained supremacy in the <i>parlements</i> and finally, through their jurist representation, ridded France of the Jesuits! See Van Kley's numerous works on the subject for more.

[Edited on 2-16-2005 by ARStager]
 

ARStager

Puritan Board Freshman
There were also some very interesting issues concerning the sacraments with Jansenists, particularly with extreme unction. If you were baptized by a preist that was rumored not to have enforced _Unigenitus_, you could be refused last rites and communion, and often marriages would be invalid as well.

There's so much fun church/state struggle to be studied in this particular history. Doctrinal dispute really does end up putting the absolutist monarch in quite a pickle. The Jesuits are kissing his butt, and the Jansenists are claiming that the King ought to exercize sovereignty in his realm and insist that no Gallican Catholic be refused the sacraments. Again, it's all about Dale Van Kley on this one!

[Edited on 1-7-2005 by ARStager]
 

a mere housewife

Not your cup of tea
Andrew (S.), thanks for the book recommendation.

Later on in the letters, Pascal himself provided what (to him) seems to have been the point of heresy of the Calvinists: that they didn't believe in real presence, and didn't adore the elements of the sacrament. That didn't enter into the article Andrew (M.) linked to at all; which made me wonder... But for Pascal and the people at Port Royal, who seem to have been devoted to worshipping the elements of the communion, this was the real departure of Calvinists from the true faith, and the reason why "Calvinist" was such a reproach.

It was interesting in the article to sense the almost surprise of whoever was writing it, that Calvinists were not fatalists with regard to how they lived in the world. An A&E documentary about Christianity mentioned the same thing in the same sort of surprised way.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Pasteur was also one, and he is often called the father of microbiology for his famous experiment which was designed to disprove the then current form of the theory of evolution (spontainious evolution), but don't expect to hear the last part in a public high school science lecture.
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Originally posted by TimV
Pasteur was also one, and he is often called the father of microbiology for his famous experiment which was designed to disprove the then current form of the theory of evolution (spontainious evolution), but don't expect to hear the last part in a public high school science lecture.

Tim,

Can you cite a reference to support this claim about Pasteur? I frankly have trouble believing it. Pascal was a Jansenist, but Pasteur? If this is true, I am sad to hear it.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Sorry my memory failed. He was Fransican, a sort of non-monk layworker. The experiment was, though, done to disprove evolution.

Sorry.
 
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