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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 ?
Volker Reinhardt argues for the "fundamental opposition" (449) between an aesthetically simple and ethically frugal Jansenism and the baroque papacy dedicated to hierarchy, opulence, and dynastic politics.
At the same time, that grace is anathema to the "totalitarian" Jansenism produced by the need to displace the problem of evil entirely onto others: racketeers, big "organizers," men like Lime.
Aware of the conundrum represented by associating Jansenists with Carthusians in 1645 Paris--no proof exists of such interaction--the author justifies her thesis by resorting to what she defines as "circumstantial evidence" (29): the physical proximity of the Parisian charterhouse to Port-Royal, and more broadly the existence of a religious sensibility embodied by, or akin to, early Jansenism.
Jansenism was a Catholic variant of Calvinism, the Protestant lineage following Jean Calvin (retaining the original spelling of his name reminds us that he was in fact French, not English, and not merely the forerunner to John Locke).
For a summary of the literature related to these points on Jansenism made by Hanns Gross, see his Rome in the Age of Enlightenment, 271-272; 276; 280.
Oversimply put, Jansenism is the Counter-Reformation doctrine espoused by Cornelius Jansen (1585-1638) and his followers, who denied traditional Catholic teaching concerning human freedom in the acceptance and enactment of divine grace.
Jansenism was a rigoristic and puritanical school of thought named for Cornelius Jansen (1585-1638), a professor of theology at Louvain.
The latent Jansenism of American Catholicism, combined with the moralism of the mainstream culture, robbed Catholicism in the United States of the kinds of cultural expressions of faith one finds in Catholic countries.
of Ireland-Maynooth) begins by explaining that Jansenism was not just a heresy or a sex-shunning moral pessimism, but a multi-faceted movement that responded to fundamental challenges within early-modern Catholicism.
Jansenism, a movement in Western Europe claiming to be Catholic, was their enemy.
Carroll, "Galileo Galilei and the Myth of Heterodoxy"; Tabitta van Nouhuys, "Copernicanism, Jansenism, and Remonstrantism in the Seventeenth-Century Netherlands"; Margaret J.
While conceding that in the Provinciales Pascal convicts the Jesuits of grave laxities, Natoli doubts that the exposure is fair to casuistry, recognizes the virtue of prudence, or converts the reader to the severities of Jansenism.