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Document Details :
Title: Le jansénisme est-il un épicurisme?
Subtitle: La «délectation» dans l'Augustinus
Author(s): BERG, Kenneth
Volume: 65 Issue: 3-4 Date: 2015
The article is a detailed discussion of the concept of delectation as it appears in the Augustinus. The use of this concept by Jansenius seems to support the accusation, raised by Fénelon and seconded by Henri Bremond, that Jansenism is essentially an Epicureanism. However, the article shows that the idea of delectation might well be compatible with some notion of unselfish love. In the first part, it is noted how Jansenius, like Augustine, uses 'delectation' as synonymous with a passion overriding free will. In the second part, it is shown how, at the same time, the word is used to express the centre of the will or what makes it truly voluntary. In the third part, it is argued that, while the concept is not a sign of hedonism, it also is not simply a metaphor. It is shown instead that love-as-delectation is regularly conceived of as a thoroughly disinterested affection. In this manner, the article suggests that the concept of delectation may tell us something important about the possibility of imagining a love that is at once passionate and unselfish. It hints that the ambiguity of the Augustinus concerning the nature of love may be that of almost the entire Catholic tradition prior to Fénelon.