The World of Port Royal: the Jansenist movement in the Catholic Church, 17th-18th centuries. (511 fiche).
In the 17th century a heated theological debate raged in Catholic Europe on the role of divine grace and the efficacy of good works in obtaining eternal salvation. The position taken by the so-called Jansenists (named for Dutch theologian Cornelis Jansen, 1585-1638), who was professor of Sacred Theology at the University of Louvain in the southern Netherlands was deeply pessimistic about man’s ability to do anything to achieve his own salvation, which was either granted by the grace of God or was not. Based on the theology of St. Augustine, this position was in many ways close to that of the Protestant Calvinists concerning predestination.
In France the Jansenist movement centered around the Parisian convent of Port Royal and attracted many adherents, who produced an extensive correspondence and other documentation. In the early 18th century, archival materials from Port Royal were transferred to the Dutch Republic where many Jansenists found a safe refuge in Utrecht and other places. This remarkable collection of correspondence and other documents in French, which is owned by the Old Catholic Church of the Netherlands, is held by the State Archives in Utrecht.
The collection includes a external finding aid based on:
Bruggeman, J. and A.J. van de Ven, Inventaire des pieces d’archives francaises se rapportant a l’Abbaye de Port-Royal des Champs et son cercle … The Hague, 1972.