Thursday, January 04, 2007


Am reading these days about Jansenism. It might be that secularized Jansenism had not a little to do with the origins of the French Revolution. As the 17th Century wanes into the 18th Century, Jansensists developed a legalistic culture of protest against authority, using all sorts of "democratic" and legalistic mechanisms to avoid obedience to the Pope and to thwart the King. The Jansenists were also looking for a sort of redemptive act that would give real physical expression to the invisible Church, which was being held in bondage by the visible Church and the King.

I know from previous research that Voltaire thought that the Jansenists would he useful allies for a time in paving the way to Revoltuion. He realized that they shared his hatred of the King and authority. Voltaire, at the same time, disliked the Jansenist. His brother got involved in some "signs and wonders" that took place in a Jansenist cemetary in the 1720s. Voltaire took this to be a sign that all Christians were interested in hokey signs and wonders. He also thought that they could be easily duped.

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Blogger Tortoise(notHare) said...

Joe P. you have been most persuasive with your many examples that show the roots of today's ills with the FR. Perhaps we can give a tiny bit of credit to the Jansenist oeuvre des convulsions as at the root of "reality" tv shows such as "Fear Factor". Cheers!

2:15 PM  

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