Auguste Joseph Alphonse Gratry

Auguste Joseph Alphonse Gratry

Auguste Joseph Alphonse Gratry

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Auguste Joseph Alphonse Gratry (usually known as Joseph Gratry) (10 March 1805 − 6 February 1872) was a French author and theologian.

Gratry was born at Lille and educated at the École Polytechnique of Paris. After a period of mental struggle which he has described in Souvenirs de ma jeunesse, he was ordained priest in 1832. After a stay at Strasbourg as professor of the Petit Séminaire, he was appointed director of the Collège Stanislas in Paris in 1842 and, in 1847, chaplain of the École Normale Supérieure. He became vicar-general of Orleans in 1861, professor of ethics at the Sorbonne in 1862, and, on the death of Barante, a member of the French Academy in 1867, where he occupied the seat formerly held by Voltaire.

Together with others (abbé Pétitot, curé of Saint Roch, and Hyacinthe de Valroger) he reconstituted the Oratory of the Immaculate Conception, a society of priests mainly devoted to education. Gratry was one of the principal opponents of the definition of the dogma of papal infallibility, but in this respect he submitted to the authority of the First Vatican Council.

He died at Montreux in Switzerland.

Selected works

  • De la connaissance de Dieu, opposing Positivism (1855)
  • La Logique (1856)
  • Les Sources, conseils pour la conduite de l'esprit (1861−1862)
  • La Philosophie du credo (1861)
  • Commentaire sur l'évangile de Saint Matthieu (1863)
  • Jésus-Christ: réponse à M. Renan (1864)
  • Les Sophistes et la critique (in controversy with E. Vacherot)......
  • ...

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