Jansenism returned to France during the Age of Enlightenment, a period in European development represented by strict adherence to Enlightenment-influenced philosophy. Philosophies produced during this era often opposed faith in things unknown in favor of secular beliefs in human progress; and appeared to delegitimize the notion of divine grace, labeling it incompatible with natural law. Enlightenment philosophy has also been interpreted as a direct attack on the Catholic Church, a challenge to papal dogmatism, and has been credited with dissolving Jesuit authority in France. However, due to popular historiographic emphasis on philosophical discourse during the Enlightenment era, the Jansenist role in Jesuit pers...
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...ovements. Yet, it can be said that both 'Jansenisms' effectively straddle the border between political and religious theaters. From a religious perspective, Jansenism was initially condemned by the Catholic Church for it's resistance to Molinist reform efforts. When examined in political context, French monarchs appear to suppress the Jansenists in response to the foreign policies of Cardinal Richelieu. The Age of Enlightenment allowed for an excess of new religious and political philosophies, and it was in this environment that Jansenism would return to France. With authority of the monarchy threatened with revolution, the government was no longer able to use the Gallican church as a suppressive instrument. Furthermore, due to the work of dedicated intellectuals, such as Arnauld and Pascal, Jansenists were able to delegitimize Jesuit and papal power in France.
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