Before being declared heretical in 1713, Jansenism was a Catholic movement focused on such central issues as original sin and predestination. In this engaging book, David Selby explores how the Jansenist tradition shaped Alexis de Tocqueville's life and works and argues that once that connection is understood, we can apply Tocqueville's political thought in new and surprising ways. Moving from the historical sociology of Jansenism in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century France to contemporary debates over the human right to education, the role of religion in democracy, and the nature of political freedom, Selby brings Tocqueville out of the past and makes him relevant to the present, revealing that there is still much to learn from this great theorist of democracy.
About the Author
David Selby is a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, and adjunct faculty at Ohlone Junior College in California.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements IntroductionQui êtes-vous Monsieur de Tocqueville? The Big Payoffs On Method: What Happens after the Revolution? A Final Word 1. Jansenism and Republicanism in Old Regime France A Précis of the History of Jansenism An Ideal-Type of Jansenism The Jansenist Ethic and the Spirit of Resistance: Malesherbes’ Resistance to Maupeou’s Reforms Conclusion: Jansenism and Republicanism in Old Regime France 2. Tocqueville, Jansenism, and French Political Culture, 1789-1859 Two Jansenist Categories: The Notes to Democracy in America A Brief History of the Tocqueville Family and the Cultural Influences Present in Family Life The Family Library and the Education of an Aristocrat The Study of Law and Two Friends from Versailles Jansenist Themes in Tocqueville’s Life and Letters Conclusion: Jansenism in the Life and Works of Alexis de Tocqueville 3. Providence Jansenism and Providence: Secular History, Religious Knowledge, and the Imperative to Struggle for the Good in the Space Provided by Providence The Dual Influence of Bossuet in the Nineteenth Century Tocqueville’s Apology for Democracy: Contra Maistre on the Nature of the French Revolution Tocqueville’s Use of the Theory of Orders: Contra Bossuet Conclusion: A New Political Science for a Democratic Age 4. Sovereignty Pascal’s ‘Conversation’ in the Nineteenth Century The First Series of Debates: The Villèle Ministry and the Events of 1822 Jansenist and Doctrinaire Responses: Grégoire and Villemain Louis-Phillipe d’Orléans: Liberal Monarch, or Prince of the French Republic? The Liberal Monarch and his Ministers: The Doctrinaires Tocqueville’s Trip to America and the Sovereignty of the People Conclusion: The Modern Republicanism of Alexis de Tocqueville 5. Power and Virtue The Liberal Challenge: Constant on the Liberties of the Ancients and the Moderns Tocqueville’s First Rejoinder: Individualism and Interest Properly Understood The Jansenist Toolbox: Pascal, Nicole, d’Aguesseau From Subject to Citizen: The Moral Relations of the Republic Conclusion: The Necessity of the Political in a Democratic Age 6. Religion (I) Setting up the Problem: Stepan and Tocqueville as Third-Way Democrats The Freedom of Education and the Failure of Democratic Bargaining, 1843-1844 Two Models of Education: Moral and Civic Tocqueville’s Compromise Conclusion: The Path not Taken, and Reconstructing the Right to the Freedom of Education 7. Religion (II) Tocqueville’s Antinomies and the Democratic Social State The Political Utility of Religion The Spill-Over Effect The Separation Effect The Restraint Effect The Mechanism of Practice: A Brief Comparison of Religion in the works of Alexis de Tocqueville and Robert Bellah The Ideal-Type in History: From America to France Back to America: The Double Foundation and the American Democratic Revolution Conclusion Tocqueville’s Modern Republicanism Power, Non-Domination, and Realist Republicanism Practical Experience, Political Activity, and Civic Virtue Institutionalizing the Republic and the Prospects for Freedom in a Democratic Age Bibliography Index