The hollow victory over Jansenism – part II

6 08 2009

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Some notes on historical theology

Realized Eschatology

In Monday’s post, we spoke of the ways in which the rise of Jansenism represented the signs of the times in which we now live. In its approach to metaphysics and liturgy, Jansenism was ahead of its time, and triumphed in the sense that the same principals of a dead cosmos and unenchanted praxis are dominant in contemporary Catholic thought and culture. But Jansenism did lose, and lose badly. What the rest of the Catholic world saw as beneficial in Jansenist thought was plundered and usurped into the Catholic mainstream, while that which was inimical to the ethos of emergent politicized Catholicism was chucked by the wayside like so much dross. No two ideas were considered more dangerous for the emergent Catholic authorities than Jansenist eschatology and belief in the significance of the miraculous. While these two tendencies continue to exist in pockets at the periphery of the Catholic world, they are deemed to be ideas that most “thinking Catholics” would find either “Protestant” or “superstitious”.
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