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By Those Who Knew Them

By Those Who Knew Them: French Modernists Left, Right, and Center

HARVEY HILL
LOUIS-PIERRE SARDELLA
C. J. T. TALAR
Copyright Date: 2008
Pages: 207
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt284v5x
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  • Book Info
    By Those Who Knew Them
    Book Description:

    By Those Who Knew Them illuminates the lives of several key figures involved in the modernist movement--the movement for intellectual and structural renewal in turn-of-the-century Catholicism

    eISBN: 978-0-8132-1838-0
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[iv])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [v]-[viii])
  3. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-14)
    C.J.T. TALAR and HARVEY HILL

    “MODERNISM” IN ITS Roman Catholic guise is hardly familiar to the vast majority of Catholics. Like most “isms” (with the possible exception of Catholicism, depending on whom one is talking to!), it carries a vaguely negative scent. And further acquaintance would verify that impression. Its condemnation by the Vatican in 1907 termed it “the synthesis of all heresies” and positioned it as going a step beyond Protestantism (till then the ogre in the theological forest) and lingering but a step away from atheism. Its partisans were represented as driven by inordinate curiosity and pride, whose consequences were destructive for the...

  4. PART ONE THE LEFT

    • CHAPTER ONE THE MORALITY OF APOSTASY FÉLIX SARTIAUX’S BIOGRAPHY OF JOSEPH TURMEL
      (pp. 17-40)
      C.J.T. TALAR

      EVEN TO THOSE with only superficial acquaintance with Roman Catholic Modernism, the names of principal figures such as Alfred Loisy or George Tyrrell would be familiar. One would have to delve rather deeply into the movement, however, before encountering Joseph Turmel. In a number of ways Turmel can be considered a marginal figure. His chosen area was patristics, in a movement that generated controversy mainly over apologetics, biblical criticism, Church history, and dogma. After a relatively brief stint on seminary faculty, he adopted a reclusive lifestyle, pouring his energies almost exclusively into his scholarship. Félix Sartiaux, his friend and biographer,...

    • CHAPTER TWO AN IDEAL MODERNIST MARCEL HÉBERT
      (pp. 41-68)
      C.J.T. TALAR

      THE EVENTS IN HÉBERT’S LIFE that led up to his attempts to accommodate the Roman Catholic Church to modernity, his relation to similar or parallel initiatives for renewal, and his activities subsequent to his leaving the Church, form the substance of Albert Houtin’s Un prêtre symboliste. Marcel Hébert (1851–1916). Hébert initiated contact with Houtin in 1902, shortly after the appearance of the latter’s La question biblique chez les catholiques de France au XIXe siècle. That developed into a friendship that lasted until Hébert’s death. Though he had been urged by several of his friends to write his autobiography, Hébert...

  5. PART TWO THE RIGHT

    • CHAPTER THREE LE MODERNISTE MALGRÉ LUI PIERRE BATIFFOL
      (pp. 71-90)
      C.J.T. TALAR

      IN A RETROSPECTIVE LOOK in Témoins de la pensée catholique en France sous la IIIe république (1940), Pierre Fernessole extolled Pierre Batiffol’s orthodoxy: “[F]aced with the Modernist heresy, the Church had no defender of Catholic Truth more zealous, more authoritative, more effective than Mgr Batiffol.” However, he found it necessary immediately to add that “this role was too often misunderstood in certain Catholic circles.”¹ Pierre Batiffol suffered a fate similar to that of the Dominican biblical scholar Marie-Joseph Lagrange, with whom he was closely associated.² Attempting to mediate between Catholic tradition and modern criticism, they appeared from one side as...

  6. PART THREE THE CENTER

    • CHAPTER FOUR HOUTIN’S LOISY THE CONSTRUCT ION OF A MODERNIST
      (pp. 93-121)
      HARVEY HILL

      FEARING THAT THEIR CHURCH was becoming increasingly anachronistic, many Catholics at the beginning of the twentieth century sought to update its teachings. The ecclesiastical hierarchy condemned these efforts as “Modernism” and excommunicated the most prominent Modernists, including Alfred Loisy (1857–1940). For our purposes, the most important aspect of the Vatican’s anti-Modernist attack was its characterization of the Modernists, who were described as philosophical agnostics motivated primarily by pride and a morbid curiosity. Although Modernists posed as reformers, the papal documents claimed, they were actually enemies of the Church who remained in the Church under false pretences.²

      Like several prominent...

    • CHAPTER FIVE IN DEFENSE OF LOISY’S MYSTICISM BREMOND’S MODERNIST CONFESSION
      (pp. 122-149)
      HARVEY HILL

      IN THE ENCYCLICAL condemning “Modernism,” Pascendi Dominici Gregis (1907), Pope Pius X characterized those he condemned as philosophical agnostics motivated primarily by pride and morbid curiosity. Although Modernists posed as reformers, Pius insisted, they were actually enemies of the Church who remained in the Church under false pretenses.² Two of the early histories of Modernism, by the rationalist Albert Houtin and the Catholic progressive Jean Rivière, followed Pius at least in their portrayals of one of the most prominent Modernists, Alfred Loisy (1857–1940, excommunicated 1908).³ Loisy responded with his own efforts to interpret his past, especially the critical years...

    • CHAPTER SIX MGR MIGNOT, THE “ULTIMATE MODERNIST”? LOUIS-PIERRE SARDELLA
      (pp. 150-186)

      MGR EUDOXE IRÉNÉE MIGNOT, bishop of Fréjus (1890–1899), then archbishop of Albi (1899–1918), is one of the rare French bishops from the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century not to have been completely forgotten. He owes this privilege to his role in the important debates of his time, particularly during the Modernist controversy in France. His attitude throughout this painful crisis was the subject of astonishment during his lifetime and of debate after his death. The unshakable support he lent to Abbé Alfred Loisy was incomprehensible and scandalous to many. He supported the publication...

  7. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 187-194)
  8. INDEX
    (pp. 195-198)
  9. Back Matter
    (pp. 199-199)