Jean Pierre de CAUSSADE (1675–1751), ascetic writer. In 1693 he joined the Jesuits at Toulouse, was professed in 1708, and later travelled widely, being much appreciated as a preacher. From 1729 until 1740 he resided mainly in Lorraine. His last years were passed at Perpignan (1741–3), Albi (1744–6), and Toulouse (1746–51). His extensive correspondence with the Visitandines at Nancy is a leading source of our knowledge of his doctrines.

His influence did much to rehabilitate mysticism at a time when its claims were still suffering from the condemnation of Quietism. Caussade tried to show that it had justification in the teaching of J. B. Bossuet, whose authority here was of the highest in view of his part in the Quietist controversy. In addition to his letters of spiritual direction, his works include Instructions spirituelles en forme de dialogue sur les divers états d’oraison (1741; Eng. tr., with introd. by J. Chapman, 1931). He is chiefly noted for a treatise on abandonment to God’s Providence, first published by H. Ramière in 1867, but his authorship of this, as of other texts, has now been seriously questioned.

Good edn. of his Lettres spirituelles by M. Olphe-Galliard, SJ (2 vols., 1962–4); earlier Eng. tr. by A. Thorold (1934). His Traité sur l’oraison du cœur first ed., together with the second book of his Instructions spirituelles, by M. Olphe-Galliard, SJ [1981]. Eng. tr. of Traité de l’oraison du coeur by R. M. McKeon (St Louis, Mo., 1998). Modern eds. of L’Abandon à la providence divine by M. Olphe-Galliard, SJ (1966) and by J. Gagey, ed. J. Millon (2001). Eng. tr., as The Sacrament of the Present Moment by K. Muggeridge (1981). M. Huillet d’Istria, Le Père de Caussade et la querelle du pur amour [1964], with bibl. M. Olphe-Galliard, SJ, La Théologie mystique en France au XVIIIe siècle: Le Père de Caussade [1984]. S. [C. ff.] Tugwell, OP, Ways of Imperfection (1984), pp. 208–18. Polgár, 1 (1990), pp. 473–5. M. Olphe-Galliard in Dict. Sp. 2 (1953), cols. 354–70, incl. full bibl.

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