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Old 02-01-2010, 09:47 PM   #1
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Pascal, Blaise: The Provincial Letters, v1, 2 February 2010.

Blaise Pascal [1623-1662]
The Provincial Letters [Lettres provinciales] 1656-1657
Translated by Thomas M’Crie [1797-1875]
1856

From Wikipedia:
In these letters, Pascal humorously attacked casuistry, a rhetorical method often used by Jesuit theologians, and accused Jesuits of moral laxity. Being quickly forced underground while writing the Provincial Letters, Pascal pretended they were reports from a Parisian to a friend in the provinces, on the moral and theological issues then exciting the intellectual and religious circles in the capital. In the letters, Pascal's tone combines the fervor of a convert with the wit and polish of a man of the world. Their style meant that, quite apart from their religious influence, the Provincial Letters were popular as a literary work. Adding to that popularity was Pascal's use of humor, mockery, and satire in his arguments. The letters also influenced the prose of later French writers like Voltaire and Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lettres_provinciales
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Old 02-02-2010, 10:05 AM   #2
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Anything of interest to students of Philosophy or is this work strictly theological?
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Old 02-02-2010, 12:11 PM   #3
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The theological discussions have philosophical implications. For example, the discussion on efficacious grace and Jansenism has relevance for free will and determinism. And the passages on casuistry are relevant to ethics and the way that moral rules should be interpreted.
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casuistry, catholicism, efficacious grace, french literature, jansenism, jesuits, mental reservation, religion, satire, translations

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