Today in Christian History – May 6 (2020)

1638 – Death of Dutch theologian Cornelius Jansen, who inspired the Catholic reform movement known as Jansenism. Opposed to the teachings of the Jesuits and of Thomas Aquinas, he had adopted Augustine’s doctrine of irresistible grace, but his views on grace and predestination were condemned by the church.

Up until the French Revolution, Jansenism would live on as a political force in France, supported by some chairs in the parlements of Paris. Anonymous Jansenists published a magazine called Nouvelles ecclésiastiques, which frequently featured anti-Jesuit propaganda. Eventually, Jansenists would collaborate with independent-minded Gallicanists in promoting the Jesuits’ expulsion from France in 1764.

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