Port-Royal


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Port-Royal

(Fr. pôr-rwäyäl`), former abbey of women, c.17 mi (27 km) W of Paris, founded in 1204. It was at first Benedictine, later Cistercian. In 1608 the abbess, Angélique Arnauld (see ArnauldArnauld
, French family involved in Jansenism (see under Jansen, Cornelis). The name is also spelled Arnaut or Arnault. The leader was a nun, Marie Angélique de Sainte Madeleine, 1591–1661, abbess from early youth of Port-Royal, a Cistercian house near Paris.
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, family), undertook a reform with the counsel of St. Francis de Sales. The nuns became renowned for piety, and their help was sought all over France for the reform of conventual discipline. In 1626 the abbey was moved to Paris because of the unsalubrious climate; the old buildings were now called Port-Royal-des-Champs [in the country], the new foundation Port-Royal-de-Paris. Under the influence of Jean Duvergier de Hauranne, the abbey soon became the prime center of Jansenism (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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). Port-Royal-des-Champs became a retreat for men, some of whom opened classes there for boys (1638). These, "the little schools," were successful from the start, and many celebrated Frenchmen were educated there. The pedagogy was novel in emphasizing knowledge as a means rather than an end, in using "natural" methods, and in distrusting corporal punishment. The textbooks became famous. The religious tone of the teaching did much to create the Jansenist and antipapal tendencies of 18th-century Roman Catholicism in France. Port-Royal fared as Jansenism did, and persecution became severe toward the end of the 17th cent. Port-Royal-des-Champs was suppressed by papal bull in 1704, and the buildings were razed in 1710. The nuns were expelled from Port-Royal-de-Paris.

Port-Royal

 

a convent founded near Paris in 1204. In 1625 an abbey was founded in Paris proper by nuns from the original Port-Royal convent and called Port-Royal de Paris. The original institution was then called Port-Royal des Champs. In the 17th century, as a result of the influence of the abbess Angélique Arnauld and her brothers, both places became important centers of French literature and philosophical thought. In the 1630’s they became focal points of Jansenism and attracted enlightened youth for scholarly studies and literary discussions. Men were housed near the main women’s quarters.

Famous philosophers, scholars, and writers, such as B. Pascal and J. Racine, were closely connected with the abbey of Port-Royal des Champs; R. Descartes also had associations with it. Port-Royal and members of its circle took an active part in the bitter struggle against the Jesuits. In 1711, Port-Royal des Champs was destroyed by order of the king. Port-Royal de Paris continued until 1790.

References in periodicals archive ?
continues with a brilliant and thorough analysis of the writings of three Arnauld-family superiors of the convent of Port-Royal, the sisters Ange1ique and Agnes and their niece, Angelique de Saint-Jean.
Port-Royal was intimately connected with the Jansenist controversy.
Adoration and Annihilation: The Convent Philosophy of Port-Royal.
Three abbesses of Port-Royal are Conley's focus, all members of the Arnauld family: two sisters and a niece of theirs.
The outburst of this new style manifested itself not in the convent of Port-Royal, headquarters of Parisian Jansenism, but inexplicably in the nearby charterhouse at the rue Vauvert.
PORT-ROYAL ET L'ECOLE FRANCAISE DE SPIRITUALITE: COLLOQUE DE PORT-ROYAL DES CHAMPS, 15-16 SEPTEMBRE 2006.
The voices of three abbesses of the Arnauld family--sisters Angelique (1591-1661) and Agnes (1593-1671) and their niece Angelique de Saint-Jean (1624-84)--at the celebrated convent of Port-Royal are the focus of this new book by Thomas M.
Born third and last in her upper-class Parisian family, Jacqueline entered the Port-Royal convent in 1652 against her parents' wishes.
Let me conclude with a quotation which will allow the reader to judge the strengths of this book: the roots of La Fontaine's Fables "fed on everything germinal and vital in the literature of Old France: Roman poetry, medieval romances and fables, the Renaissance of Rome and Touraine, the cultured Catholicism of Francis of Sales and Port-Royal, liberal and humanistic Calvinism, Cornellian generosity, the libertinage of skeptical and Epicurean scholars, the poets' lyricism and science of form, in short everything that could nurture man's knowledge of himself and free him from the power of darkness within himself" (348).
Carol Baxter also discusses nuns; her essay centers on ideas about the body among the nuns of Port-Royal in seventeenth-century France and finds that this group of nuns felt great happiness since they perceived themselves as the vanguard of the spiritual renewal of French society.
Basing this study on family papers, notarial records, manuscript collections at the Biblioth[acute{e}que Nationale and the Bib1ioth[acute{e}que de la Soci[acute{e}]t[acute{e}] de Port-Royal, and published correspondence, memoirs, and journals, Alexander Sedgwick enlarges on his earlier work, Jansenism in Seventeenth-Century France by chronicling the history of the Arnauld family from the religious wars to the Enlightenment.
Diefendorf's "underground community" of Huguenots recalls other persecuted groups --Roman Catholics in England, the Jansenist society of Port-Royal, and the Jews.