• Richard Simon and the tiers parti

    Author(s):
    Nicholas Mithen (see profile)
    Date:
    2022
    Item Type:
    Article
    Permanent URL:
    https://doi.org/10.17613/67qt-2s69
    Abstract:
    Recent scholarship has sought to reinterpret the French biblical scholar Richard Simon, viewing him less as the unwitting participant in an agenda of radical secularisation, and more as the culmination of centuries of humanistic learning. This article repositions this rehabilitated Simon within the contested theological landscape of late seventeenth century French Catholicism. Drawing upon Simon’s exchanges with the Jansenist Antoine Arnauld and the Jesuit Dominique Bouhours concerning the translation of the New Testament into French, it argues that Simon’s critical approach to scripture can be seen as—and Simon himself defined it as—representative of a tiers parti. This tiers parti stood outside of the structural divisions within seventeenth century Catholicism between Jansenists and Molinists, between advocates of efficacious and sufficient grace. It deployed historical criticism to bolster the authority of Tradition, to undermine rational and speculative theology, and to mollify intra-confessional division.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    2 weeks ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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