Encyclopedia of Renaissance Philosophy

Living Edition
| Editors: Marco Sgarbi

Bouju Théophraste

Born: unknown (16th century?)
Died: unknown (17th century?)
  • Violaine Giacomotto-CharraEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-02848-4_288-1

Abstract

Théophraste Bouju was a Catholic controversialist, an outspoken opponent of Pierre du Moulin, and an author of a major comprehensive work entitled Corps de toute la Philosophie,which, in the wake of individual publication of the works of Dupleix, provides the reader with an overarching synthesis of Scholastic philosophy in French and clearly bears the stamp of Jesuit thinking.

Synonyms

Biography

Little is known of Bouju’s life. He was born into a Protestant family in the Anger region of France, the son of Jacques Bouju, President of the Parliament of Brittany. He later converted to Catholicism and was ordained into the priesthood. The title pages of his works indicate that in 1604 he was chaplain to French King Henry IV, while in 1603 he describes himself as simply “Catholic.” By 1613, he had become “Adviser and Ordinary Chaplain to the King.” Little else, beyond what his books tell us, is known about his life.

Works

Bouju is renown for two reasons. The first is related to the theological controversy which brought him into conflict with the Protestant Pierre du Moulin, from 1603 on. One of his earliest publications is perfectly explicit on this point: “Methode de convaincre par la saincte escriture, tous schismatiques et heretiques. Selon laquelle est demonstrée la fausseté de la doctrine des pretenduz reformez Calvinistes, Zwingliens et Lutheriens, contraire à celle des Catholiques […] contre le sieur du Moulin, ministre de la pretendue Eglise reformée, continuant à renier sa confession de Foy” [On the Method of convincing all schismatics and heretics through the holy scriptures. According to which the falseness of the professed reformist doctrine of the Calvinists, Zwinglians and Lutherans is thereby demonstrated, unlike the true Catholic doctrine […] and in opposition to Monsieur du Moulin, minister of the professed reformed Church and who continues to recant his confession of Faith]. This work is dedicated to the “King of England, Scotland, and Ireland” whom Bouju rather sheepishly admonishes thus: “A raison dequoy, vostre Majesté venant à s’apercevoir, que l’instruction qu’on luy a donnée, ne conduict pas à son but, et à ses desseings, elle sera obligée de choisir une meilleure voye”[By reason of which, if His Majesty should come to recognize that the instruction he has received does not guide him to his own end and designs, then His Majesty should choose a better path].

Moreover, over and above these theological controversies, Bouju is the author of Corps de toute la Philosophie (1614), a voluminous appraisal (1,500 pages in folio) of Aristotelian philosophy: Corps de toute la Philosophie divisé en deux parties. La premiere contient tout ce qui appartient à la sapience […], la seconde contient tout ce qui appartient à la Prudence […], le tout par demonstration et auctorité dAristote, avec esclarcissement de sa doctrine par luy-mesme [The corpus of all philosophy divided into two parts. The first contains all which belongs to knowledge […], the second contains all which belongs to Prudence […], and both are demonstrated by the authority of Aristotle, with explanations of his doctrine by himself]. The work is dedicated to the King and Queen regent. In the preface, Bouju points to his desire to make philosophy accessible to all, with a view to promoting unity and peace across the French kingdom. His main target was the largely ill-educated old nobility whom he wished to convert to reason as a means of curbing their entrenched bellicosity: “En somme la philosophie est necessaire à un Estat, pour le conserver sans troubles” [Philosophy is necessary for the State, to protect it from unrest].

The Corps de toute la Philosophie provides a highly didactic synthesis (Bouju uses educational innovations present in the work of Dupleix) of a generally rather conservative vein of Scholastic philosophy, indicative of Thomism and Jesuit influences. Like Dupleix, Bouju’s work by far surpasses mere compilation – he takes a stand on a number of points, both in the physics and metaphysics (see Ariew).

Cross-References

References

  1. Ariew R (1999) Descartes and the last scholastics, 50–51, 61–64, 80, 107–108, 111, 113, 146, 164, 171. New YorkGoogle Scholar
  2. Bouju T (1603) Destruction des faux arguments et sophismes du sieur de Montigny, premier Ministre de la pretenduë Eglise reformée de Paris. Par lesquels il veut prouver sa confession de foy du sacrement de l’Eucharistie, defendre les contradictions, dont elle se destruit elle-mesme, et reprouver la croyance des Catholiques. Plus les lettres de refus du sieur du Moulin, second Ministre, n’osant venir à la conference, selon lesquelles, ou il est convaincu en sa confession de foy, ou il la renonce. ParisGoogle Scholar
  3. Bouju T (1603) Cartel de deffy du sieur de Bouju surnommé de Beaulieu, envoyé au Sieur du Moulin, avec les responces et repliques de part et d’autres. Sur le point de la Cene, et des Marques de la vraye Eglise. S.lGoogle Scholar
  4. Bouju T (1604) Methode de convaincre par la Saincte Escriture, tous schismatiques et heretiques. Selon laquelle est demonstrée la fausseté de la doctrine des pretenduz reformez Calvinistes, Zwingliens et Lutheriens, contraire à celle des Catholiques: ès points de l’Eglise, De la Parole de Dieu, ou tradition Apostolique non escrite, De la presence reelle du corps et du sang de Jesus-Christ, au S. Sacrement de l’Eucharistie, De la Transsubstantiation, Du Sacrifice de la Messe, De la communion souz une espece, Du Purgatoire, Des Indulgences, De la veneration et invocation des saincts, De la veneration de leurs reliques, et De la veneration des images. Contre le sieur du Moulin, ministre de la pretendue Eglise reformée, continuant à renier sa confession de Foy. ParisGoogle Scholar
  5. Bouju T (1604) La honteuse Fuite du sieur Du Moulin, ministre, après avoir renié sa confession de foy. ParisGoogle Scholar
  6. Bouju T (1613) Deux advis, l’un sur le livre de M. Edmond Richer Docteur en Theologie de la faculté de Paris : intitulé, De la puissance Ecclesiastique et Politique, l’autre sur un livre dont l’autheur ne se nomme point, qui est intitulé : Commentaire sur l’auctorité de quelque Concile General que ce soit, sur le Pape : De la Responce Synodale à Basle, etc.Google Scholar
  7. Bouju T (1614) Corps de toute la philosophie. ParisGoogle Scholar
  8. Demonet ML (2010) Bouju. In: Foisneau L (ed) The dictionary of seventeenth-century French philosophers. Thoemmes-Continuum, London, pp 192–195Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Université Bordeaux Montaigne, UFR HumanitésPessacFrance