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Pierre Nicole

1625-1695. French theologian. Native of Chartres, he took degrees in philosophy and theology at Paris, and taught at Port-Royal where began the close association with Antoine Arnauld.* Sometimes using a pseudonym, as with his Latin version of Pascal's Lettres provinciales (1658) signed “William Wendrock,” he was a moderate Jansenist despite his extreme rejection of mysticism. He wrote also Traité de l'oraison (1679) and (his last work) Réfutation des principales erreurs des quiétistes (1695), prompted by Bossuet. Nevertheless he was keen to defend Jansenism,* opposing the Jesuits. Other volumes include a defense of transubstantiation which attacks the Calvinist as well as the general Protestant position, and his posthumous publication Traité de la grãce générale (2 vols., 1715) which revealed his absolute abandonment of Jansenism.