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Document Details :
Title: An Aristotelian, an Example of Virtue and/or a Mystic?
Subtitle: Learned Conventions Disguising Polemic Goals in the Biography of Leonardus Lessius
Author(s): STANCIU, Diana
Journal: Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses
Volume: 88 Issue: 4 Date: 2012
The biography of Leonardus Lessius, written by his nephew, Jacob Wijns, and published by his great nephew, Thomas Courtois, in 1640, the same year when Jansenius’ Augustinus was also published, is discussed here as a possible piece in the complex puzzle that constituted the debate on the efficacy of grace between Jansenius and the Faculty of Theology, on the one hand, and the Jesuit scholars, on the other hand, in late-sixteenth and early-seventeenth century Louvain. The biography presents Lessius both as a learned Aristotelian and as a pious person who follows Ignatius of Loyola and shares in his mystical endeavours. My hypothesis is that, in presenting Lessius in such a manner, Wijns actually uses learned conventions specific for his time to actually disguise some of Lessius’ views on the efficacy of grace introduced in the biography. These views were accepted neither by the Louvain Faculty of Theology nor by the Jesuits themselves and they may have constituted one of the reasons for the biography to be put on the Index in 1642 and, once more, in 1646.