DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-DA063-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved June 15, 2024, from

Article Summary

The reform of the abbey of Port-Royal-des-Champs in 1608 coincided with the vast movement of monastic reform which characterized the Counter-Reformation. In 1624 a second abbey was created, Port-Royal-de-Paris and, after some rivalry among spiritual leaders of the day, this was directed by Jean Duvergier de Hauranne, abbot of Saint-Cyran and one of the leaders of the parti dévot hostile to Richelieu. In 1640 the abbot’s friend Jansenius published the Augustinus, a résumé of Augustine’s doctrine, of which five propositions on divine grace were condemned by the Vatican. Ecclesiastics in France were obliged to accept this condemnation, and the resistance of the nuns of Port-Royal brought about persecution, imprisonment and finally the destruction of the abbey in 1710. The intellectual history of the abbey extends far beyond theological quibblings, however. In 1626, Saint-Cyran defended Charron against the Jesuit Garasse and formed a firm alliance between the Pyrrhonism of Montaigne and the philosophy of Augustine. In the 1640s, Antoine Arnauld played an important role in the diffusion of Cartesianism, confirmed by the publication of the Logique de Port-Royal (1662). The 1670 publication of Pascal’s Pensées can be interpreted as a symptom of the rivalry between Descartes and Gassendi in contemporary apologetics and, in the following years, the polemics between Arnauld and Malebranche played an important role in the definition of Christian rationalism.

    Citing this article:
    McKenna, Antony. Port-Royal, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-DA063-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
    Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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