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Quietism

soul, qv and writings

QUIETISM, a tendency in religious devo tion rather than any specific system of religion or mysticism. It consists in making Christian perfection a state of uninterrupted contempla tion of divine things, the soul meanwhile re maining quiet and entirely passive under the divine influence, heedless of the customary pre cepts of practical religion, and without thought of rewards or punishments in another world, which are the master motives of vulgar piety. The term Quietism was first used to designate the mystical teaching of Miguel de Molinos (q.v.) who died (1696) in the prison of the Holy Office at Rome to which he had been con demned for teaching in sundry of his writings that the perfect Christian life consists in pass ive contemplation, unaffected by hopes or de sires, and that the soul thus occupied neither gains by good works or acts of piety, nor suf fers through the commission even of gross sins, for these affect only the lower nature of the devotee and cannot bring any strain upon the purity of a contemplative soul. The amiable

Fenelon (q.v.) was won over to hearty accept ance of some of the less objectionable features of Quietism by the influence of his disciple Madame Guyon (q.v.), several of whose mysti cal writings he approved and defended when they were condemned by the Gallivan church authorities, among them Bossuet, bishop of Meaux, who declared them to be a amass of extravagances, illusions, and puerilities.'' Fine lon's published apology for the doctrines of Madame Guyon having been censured at Rome as containing propositions rash, scandalous, etc., he promptly bowed to the judgment of the Holy See, publicly committing his own book to the flames. Consult Heppe, H., 'Geschichte der quietistischen Mystik' (Berlin 1875).