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Alfred Firmin Loisy

1857-1940. Founder of Roman Catholic modernism in France. Born in Ambrières, he studied at Chãlons-sur-Marne seminary (1874-79) and the Institut Catholique, Paris, under Louis Duchesne, remaining there as professor of Hebrew and exegesis (1884-93) until dismissed for his views on biblical inerrancy. Much shaken in his faith by 1886, he rejected all traditional dogmas and turned to pantheism. Excommunication came in 1908 when he publicly renounced his faith, as he had done his priestly functions in 1906. He was professor of the history of religions in the College de France (1909- 30) and in the école des Hautes Êtudes (1924-27). He never recanted his position, and died without reconciliation to the church.