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see under Jansen, CornelisJansen, Cornelis
, 1585–1638, Dutch Roman Catholic theologian. He studied at the Univ. of Louvain and became imbued with the idea of reforming Christian life along the lines of a return to St. Augustine.
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an unorthodox current in French and Dutch Catholicism; part of the wave of individualistic mysticism that spread through Western Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries, chiefly affecting the educated townspeople.

The stimulus for the emergence of Jansenism was the publication in 1640 of a work about Augustine by the Dutch theologian C. Jansen. True faith was sharply contrasted by Jansen to the masses’ formal acceptance of church doctrine; his assertion that Christ had not shed his blood for all people was in line with the Calvinist doctrine, of predestination. In 1642, Jansen’s book was condemned by Pope Urban VIII, and in 1653 a bull by Innocent X condemned some of Jansen’s theses; nevertheless, the “disciples of St. Augustine” continued their struggle while remaining within the Catholic Church.

In France, J. Duvergier de Hauranne, known as Abbé de Saint-Cyran, made the Abbey of Port-Royal de Paris a stronghold of Jansenism; the abbey became an important center of French culture in the second half of the 17th century. The repressions against the Jansenists, their staunchness in the face of royal despotism and Jesuit church policy, and their ethical uncompromisingness attracted B. Pascal and A. Arnauld; the latter headed the Port-Rȯyal community and was coauthor, with P. Nicole, of the theory known as Port-Royal logic. J. Racine was another author who leaned toward Jansenism.

Jansenism created a type of person who was intellectually developed, with a high sense of moral responsibility but also with a fanatical sectarian narrowmindedness. In France, the movement died out after the French Revolution. In the Netherlands, by 1723 the Jansenists had succeeded in establishing their own church, which in the 19th century drew close to the German Old Catholics; the various reforms enacted by the church in the 20th century, such as the elimination of fasting and of celibacy for the clergy, brought it closer to Protestantism. Jansenism survives to this day.


Gazier, A. Histoire générale du mouvement janséniste depuis ses origines jusqu’á nos Iours, 3rd ed. Paris, 1922–24.
Cognet, L. Le Jansénisme. Paris, 1961.



unorthodox Roman Catholic movement of the 17th and 18th centuries led by Cornelius Jansen. [Christian Hist.: EB, V: 515]
References in periodicals archive ?
Some studies continue to exaggerate the anti-Enlightenment aspects of Jansenist theology even today: see Bernard Groethuysen, The Bourgeois: Catholicism versus Capitalism in Eighteenth-Century France, trans.
In addition, unlike some scholars, he finds a clear break between the strictly corporate language of the Jansenists and parlements on the one hand and the revolutionary discourse on the other.
Presenting themselves as defenders of Tridentine orthodoxy, the latter branded the former as Calvinist, and consequently Jansenist, sympathizers.
This is the crescendo of Martins's encounter with Lime's priestly "conjurer," written to leave Greene's readers with a final resonant image of the baroque corpus, arms stretched high, solitary, unapproachable, signifying the narrow way of salvation in Jansenist Christology.
We would argue that in Irish society, with its legacy of Jansenist Catholicism, a like structure of vigorously buttressed ignorance, undergirded by a strict knowledge of what and where to overlook, persisted through much of the twentieth century, making it easy to mis- or underinterpret the more subtle literary strategies, like the enigmatic signifier, of cryptic sexual representation.
Lucidity on this point is crucial, especially in an introductory study, as Greene's religion has often been mischaracterized as Manichean and/or Jansenist, most notably by Anthony Burgess.
Mannix changed the style of Melbourne Catholicism after he arrived by eschewing the prevailing Jansenist emphasis on personal moral issues.
Counter-Reformation) against the liberalizing Jansenist and Quietist
But some conflicts had serious repercussions on this scene, most notably involving the Jansenists, who cherished ongoing anger about the condemnation of many Jansenist doctrines in the bull Unigenitus of Pope Clement XI in 1713, and the expulsion of Jansenists from the Sorbonne in 1729 by the cardinal of Paris.
The self-reflexive inward turn that permeates Suchon's notion of transcendental freedom evinces a Jansenist mentality, even though she does not share the self-abasement and mortification so common among the Jansenists.
The leading proponent of Jansenist presence in I promessi sposi has been Francesco Ruffini, author of La vita religiosa di Alessandro Manzoni (1931) containing ideas firmly discounted by Angelini.
The use of the public sphere in publicizing Jansenist miracles in Paris takes us in another direction as does an amusing look at the British love of animals and the reaction to the satirical book, The Turkish Spy.