The Twilight of Jansenism

John McManners

in Church and Society in Eighteenth-Century France Volume 2: The Religion of the People and the Politics of Religion

Published in print July 1999 | ISBN: 9780198270041
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600692 | DOI:

Series: Oxford History of the Christian Church

 The Twilight of Jansenism

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Jansenists were still excluded from the ministry of the Church by the necessity of having to sign the formulary accepting Unigenitus, but many clergy had been formed by a Jansenist‐inspired education, and the attempts by reactionary bishops to act against Jansenists came to be seen as anachronistic. With its triumph over the Jesuits, Jansenism dwindled into insignificance as a political force. In the struggle between the crown and the parlements, culminating in the ‘Maupeou revolution’ and the temporary abolition of the parlements, the ‘Jansenist’ party, the driving force behind parlementaire petitions and remonstrances, was gradually transformed into a ‘patriot’ party. Ideas and modes of thought associated with Jansenism may still be discerned behind the calls for an Estates General in the 1780s, but by the time the Revolution began Jansenism as such was an irrelevance.

Keywords: French Revolution; Jansenism; parlements

Chapter.  7929 words. 

Subjects: History of Christianity

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