Literatur der Frühaufklärung am Beispiel der « Lettres persanes » von Montesquieu (German Edition)

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Clash and Climax of Catholic Enlightenments in France, c. After the Council of Trent, a process of confessionalization had occurred which at once disciplined and changed traditional forms of piety while also reinvigorating medieval Catholicism in France and elsewhere. By the dawn of the eighteenth-century, Post-Tridentine Catholicism had been internalized by French elites, and urban centers in France were both more literate and far more replete with seminaries, Jesuit colleges, and convents of regular orders.

Montesquieu Lettres persanes

Paris: , — Lydia G. Cochrane Durham, N. The Augustinian Enlightenment to ca. Such conciliarist conceptions of papal doctrinal authority were further legitimized by publication of De ecclesiastica et politica potestate , written by the syndic of the Paris Faculty of Theology, Edmond Richer — , who controversially argued that even parish clergy rightfully shared the authority claimed by bishops. These colloquial conceptions of so-called Gallican Liberties—thought to derive from medieval relationships between the Church and the French monarchy—were additionally defended by.

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For Saint-Cyran and the Arnauld were partisans of the Post-Pelagian Augustinian view that the essence of human nature changed after the original sin of Adam; humanity was thus considered naturally depraved. But Port Royal Augustinianism remained popular in many urban centers of Northeastern France, and among educated bishops and Sorbonne faculty. Jansenism was a minority movement, but its influence outweighed its numbers thanks to its geographical proximity to the centers of power, and to networks of exchange shared with French jurists in the parlements, and with like-minded clerics in the Low Countries.

So, when the pope issued a further bull in condemning five propositions extracted from Jansen, the Sorbonne bogged down in gridlock. The Gallican. William Doyle, Jansenism New York: , 12— What was the place of medieval university faculties like the Sorbonne in a more centralized Post-Tridentine Church that relied heavily on new orders, societies like the Jesuits, and seminaries? For that matter, how was papal primacy to be interpreted in light of a bull that accurately condemned doctrinal propositions, but falsely attributed them to Jansen?

Yet, to appease the papacy after , the Sun King turned on both Protestants and Jansenists with a vengeance, issuing the Edict of Fountainbleau in against the Huguenots, and closing Port Royal with destructive fury in Not only was Quesnel staunchly Augustinian and Gallican in his ecclesiology, he was also connected with a continent-wide network of Augustinians and Jansenists, based in the Spanish Netherlands, which seemed threatening to both Louis XIV and the pope.

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Unigenitus re-affirmed all previous bulls and condemned Quesnel by associating him with Port-Royal and. As a result, a self-consciously Augustinian faction of anti-Jesuit theologians anti-Jesuitism became active in both Rome and France around Unigenitus served to stoke a theological crisis of serious magnitude by associating anti-Gallicanism with anti-Jansenism in a way that intersected with growing criticisms of Louis XIV for his high-handed erosion of traditional intermediary bodies in both Church and state i.

The Faculty of Theology thus became all the more conscious of its institutional history of providing doctrinal clarification in matters of theological controversy. No less threatening now was the encroachment of royal absolutism that sought to subordinate the Sorbonne to the parlement of Paris and the Paris Archbishop. The Sorbonne finally fought back; it asserted its right to censure suspect books in , and in it disagreed openly with the Vatican and the Jesuits over the Chinese Rites Controversy. Finally January , the Sorbonne turned on Unigenitus, annulled its earlier acceptance, and appealed the matter to a General Council of the Church in Anti-Jesuit, pro-Jansenist, proAugustinian and pro-Gallican sentiments intersected at the Sorbonne, galvanizing one strand of Catholic Enlightenment in France into conflict with another; but whereas pro-Unigenitus Catholic Enlightenment, discussed in what follows, would focus upon advances in Newtonian science, new physiology, and Lockean psychology theologically juxtaposed with occasionalism, the Catholic Enlightenment of the pro-Augustinians and radical Gallicans represented by the Sorbonne before , as both Gres-Gayer and Dale Van Kley have argued, sought a confederal republic of individual churches, and a mutuallylimiting balance of sacred and secular jurisdictions.

By , the Sorbonne again accepted Unigenitus as Church dogma and state law, and throughout the period — Fleury systematically reclaimed as many parishes and religious orders afflicted by Jansenism as possible, while relying upon his clients within the Sorbonne to stock the University of Paris faculty with scholars favorable to the bull, and to the pro-Jesuit, pro-Unigenitus Catholic Enlightenment. After approximately , therefore, the once proudly Gallican and occasionally pro-Jansenist Sorbonne became a setting for the fullest flowering of the Catholic Enlightenment proffered by Jesuits a development taken up in Section 2.

The mutual recriminations in this polemical war between pro-Unigenitus and pro-Appellant forces did irreparable damage to the Catholic Church in France and created a kind of exceptional Catholic Enlightenment milieu in France. But even as the Jansenists remained on the defensive throughout the s—s, their organizational development nourished both their popular resurgence and their burgeoning alliance with the parlement of Paris during the s. For outright Jansenists especially, Adam had been created with an essentially perfect human nature. Consequently, original sin resulted in an essential, irrevocable change to that human nature.

The implication of these socalled Molinist perspectives characteristic of pro-Unigenitus Catholic Enlightenment was, then, qualitatively different. Human nature for pro-Unigenitus Catholic Enlightenment was essentially unchanged— accidentally but not essentially depraved. Therefore, an individual could still choose to know and do the good, with efficacious grace serving only to sanctify and render salvific such choices intended for good ends.

Moreover, the Molinist perspective left open by Unigenitus allowed for speculation about a pure state of nature succeeding the fall, but preceding the fullest extent of human psycho-social corruption.

This distinction between the post-lapsarian state of nature and the pre-lapsarian paradise remained central to pro-Unigenitus Enlightenment Catholicism, and, in many respects, its favorability to a primitive state of nature united the pro-Unigenitus Catholic Enlightenment more closely with the philosophes than with the Augustinians. The still generous place for the essential goodness and reform of humanity.

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After , Jansenist literature spoke of Port-Royal, the Sorbonne, and the parlement of Paris as, successively, elect repositories of the true faith, and the veritable protectors of the constitutional privileges of French nation. Partisans of the convulsionnaires saw these events as divine favor toward the Jansenist-Augustinian cause, but the emotional zeal of the convulsionnaires horrified pro-Unigenitus prelates and hardened their stances toward Jansenism.

Similarly, the moral discipline demanded by introspection and Scriptural study made Jansenists conducive to the view that the true Church enhanced the moral improvement. Bell, CN. True religion and true reason Jansenists viewed as one and the same—the corrupted Jesuits and partisans of Unigenitus, no less than the corrupted proponents of Radical Enlightenment, they demonized as power-depraved prophets of popular superstition. The Pro-Unigenitus Enlightenment to c.

To various extents, such a focus surfaces in recent works on French religious history of the eighteenth century. But a holistic approach to Catholic Enlightenment history requires a similarly nuanced evaluation of Jesuit contributions to pre-Revolutionary and Catholic Enlightenment history. The Jesuits were both participants and critics in the socio-cultural milieu of the early Enlightenment; they held a complex, Janus-faced position as both institutional pillar of crown and mitre and against Jansenism and heterodoxy on the one hand, and vanguard of Catholic Enlightenment scientific and epistemological innovation on the other.

The supple sophistication of their positions has not been fully studied as catalysts for change in both the Catholic and Radical Enlightenment histories in France. Contrary to recent work by Jonathan Israel, moreover, the ways in which Locke, Newton, Descartes, and a host of other Enlightenment figures were employed by pro-Unigenitus Catholic Enlightenment writers in the first half of the eighteenth century were fluid and adaptive; they were also not inherently doomed to philosophical contradiction when confronted with increasingly vital, often Spinozist discourses of Radical Enlightenment which became more prevalent during the s.

For reasons explained in what follows, then, these Regency-era networks of intellectual exchange were early crucibles of both Radical and Catholic Enlightenment discourses. Matter, on the other hand, was conceived in Cartesian physics to be.

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Oxford: ; , —; Theodore K. Thus in one philosophical stroke, causal interaction between mind and matter became impossible to conceive because substantial causality made it impossible for spiritual substances to cause movement or purposive action in material substances. Accordingly, spirit was disembodied from matter, the mind from the body, human free will from action upon matter, and divine causality from the natural laws by which the universe moved and persisted.

Though many writers Catholic and Protestant alike—most famously in the Protestant case, Pierre Bayle, in his Dictionnaire historique et critique worked overtime to refute him, Spinoza was extensively abridged in the critiques by these very same writers. The Amsterdam rabbis censured Spinoza, and the Catholic Church condemned his works because his monistic notion of substance also implied that all revealed religions and sacred scriptures served largely as ethical instruction and legal coercion for the ignorant.

True religion, Spinoza implied, was natural religion—the ethics and piety suggested by natural law and reason. Paris: , vol. Dijksterhuis, The Mechanization of the World Picture, trans. Adapting Malebranche and Descartes to Aquinas, by way of Locke, made it possible, as Buffier contended, to deduce from a common-sense experience, first, that the spiritual mind and material body were separate, and, second, that matter behaved according to general principles amenable to science even if substantial causality were unverifiable.

Both Locke and Buffier thus insisted that experience is not knowledge of substances as Aquinas had argued following Aristotle, but it is useful knowledge. The whole of this epistemological synthesis had the potential to effect a substantial overhaul of Thomistic sensationism rephrased in Lockean as well as Cartesian terms—i. Manifestly apologetical and focused directly on the communication of doctrine in dialogue with skeptics, the pro-Unigenitus Catholic Enlightenment nourished by the Jesuit synthesis conditioned many clergy to teach that if Catholic revelation passed common-sense tests of historical certitude amenable to common sense then the corpus of doctrine must be true—reasonable in toto even if each mystery was not strictly rational.

This process of dissemination was hastened as many students attended Jesuit colleges before finishing just enough of their philosophy to be eligible for a degree at the University of Paris. In addition, the French capital city was replete with opportunities for interaction among theology students Jesuit or otherwise via the. Kors, Atheism in France, — Yolton ed. Rogers and Sylvana Tomaselli eds. Yolton Rochester: , 49— Technically, the faculty of theology at Paris held the privileged right to examine bachelors for degrees, but since the Council of Trent, academic theological instruction became more common in the seminaries, spreading with uncommon vitesse through the Parisian seminaries in order to enhance the efficacy of priests against the swelling vogue for Radical Enlightenment.

In this way, the boundary between Parisian seminaries and the Enlightenment world of Paris—especially the pro-Unigenitus Catholic Enlight Verger et al. The Sulpicians, for example, founded by Jean-Jacques Olier — were second only to the Jesuits in prestige and access to centers of political power. Like the Jesuits, Sulpician seminaries often drew from a predominantly noble clientele jointly enrolled at the Sorbonne and anxious for choice benefices.

Sulpician seminaries were also points of contact between Jesuits and theological students from other backgrounds, including the Sorbonne. An assessment of networks of interaction among the Sorbonne, the Parisian seminaries, the episcopacy, and the court shows that such interference eroded the institutional autonomy of the faculty while paradoxically facilitating their creative adaptation of proUnigenitus Catholic Enlightenment from s through the s.

The sway that Jesuits and their form of Catholic Enlightenment held over the Sorbonne was no organized conspiracy by the court, pro-Bull bishops, and philosophes. Instead, Jesuit influence derived, first, from ties of patronage among doctors of the Sorbonne, prominent bishops, and Jesuits close to court; second, from the constantly overlapping training After , the faculty realized that, should the parlement of Paris succeed in censuring a thesis over the objection of the Sorbonne, a dangerous precedent would thereby exist for the expansion of royal judicial power over the very definition of heterodoxy—and that by a body increasingly influenced by jurists and clerics of a pro-Jansenist persuasion.

By maintaining the initiative in censuring their own theses when overtly in violation of the Law of Silence, the Sorbonne secured royal favor, and kept the pro-Jansenist parlement of Paris at bay for another twenty years.

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The faculty therefore worked together with the parlement to enforce the Law of Silence in moments of potential controversy, while steering away from thesis topics that challenged the Law of Silence. At least thirty Sorbonne theses between and speak of the possibility of universal salvation, good works rendered even without divine grace, and a state of pure nature antecedent to civil society.

Jesuits and Sulpicians frequently packed the faculty of the University of Paris with graduands favorable to their own views. After Gaillande gathered a faction of supporters within the Sorbonne, and used his considerable influence at court to pack the Paris arts faculty with his former students favorable to Unigenitus and the Jesuits. Nearly every syndic elected from to owed his position to the machinations of Gaillande, the rabidly pro-Unigenitus Bishop Boyer, and two Archbishops of Paris,. As a consequence of pro-Unigenitus Catholic Enlightenment in theological education by the s, and in response to a surge in the publication of previously clandestine manuscripts based in materialist positions, popular apologists for Catholicism in France used aspects of the Jesuit synthesis in their arguments against a radicalizing Enlightenment.

Hitherto controversial authors like the Protestant Hugo Grotius — were treated favorably, while Blaise Pascal — and other apologists acceptable to neo-Augustinian theologians were criticized. Through a succession of patriarchs-cum-high priests, Abraham, Moses, Levites, Prophets, Jesus, the apostles, and their Catholic successors, God had republished what, before the Fall, was the natural religion of humanity. The republication was made necessary because the degeneration of natural reason and upright action required it.

This inherently corruptive quality of sensationalist psychology had been described by both Locke and Malebranche and emphasized by pro-Unigenitus writers who found the explanatory paradigms of both to be useful for interpreting the doctrine of original sin. Natural reason.


The Jesuit synthesis not only made university faculty, Jesuits, seminarians, and apologists more compatible with the utility of Lockean empiricism and historico-empirical apologetics; it also dovetailed with the vogue for Newtonian science. Newtonian mechanics and its application to the science of physiology had many partisans within the arts faculty of the University of Paris and other colleges throughout France by the late s. The king even. Works by, or in some sense inspired by, Newton received considerable attention as early as the s.

Brockliss touches lightly upon the issues; see FHE, After , Jansenists were compelled to regroup as they became theologically and philosophically. The Crucible of Catholic Enlightenment, ca. Certainly, tensions with the new philosophy had been building since the s, and individual writers had been censured for particular works, such as Voltaire for Lettres angloises , or Montesquieu for Lettres persanes Similarly, many readers and most clergy Jansenist and Jesuit alike , had yet to consistently detect strategic or rhetorical coherence in any kind of parti philosophe before the s.

Contingent factors contributed to the mainstreaming of Radical Enlightenment in France by the s, while arming the most intense period of struggle and ideological polarization between rival Catholic Enlightenments in France. Fearful of the radicalizing materialism and pantheism of many Enlightenment writers after the.

This Gallican religiophilosophical crisis was rooted in a controversial milieu beset by fiscal crisis, sacrament refusal controversies, and a struggle between Church factions for influence in the courts of the king and of public opinion.