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Henri Bremond

1865-1933. Roman Catholic scholar. Member of the Society of Jesus from 1882-1904, he left on account of “incompatibility of temperament.” Friend of the Catholic Modernists, though not himself one, he was especially influenced by Blondel* and by J.H. Newman,* whom he discovered while in England and discussed in his controversial The Mystery of Newman (ET 1907). Among many works, his greatest was Histoire littéraire du sentiment religieux en France, depuis les guerres de religion jusqu'à nos jours (11 vols., 1915-33). He used literary rather than theological sources to describe the spiritual revival in French Catholicism in France in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, portraying the devout humanism of the saints with psychological penetration. Volumes 7-11 became more of an exposition and defense of their teaching on prayer. Bremond was particularly interested in the close relation between mysticism and poetry. His scholarship, dialectical skill, and human insight were recognized by his election to the Academie Française in 1924.