Jaime Luciano Balmes - Encyclopedia


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JAIME LUCIANO BALMES (1810-1848), Spanish ecclesiastic, eminent as a political writer and a philosopher, was born at Vich in Catalonia, on the 28th of August 1810, and died there on the 9th of July 1848. Having attacked the regent Espartero and been exiled he founded and edited on his return the El Pensamiento de la Nacion, a Catholic and Conservative weekly; but his fame rests principally on El Protestantismo comparado con el Catolicismo en sus relaciones con la Civilisation Europea (3 vols., 1842-1844, 6th edition, 1879; Eng. trans. London, 1849), an able defence of Catholicism on the ground that it represents the spirit of obedience or order, as opposed to Protestantism, the spirit of revolt or anarchy. From the historical standpoint it is of little value. The best of his philosophical works, which are clear expositions of the scholastic system of thought, are the Filosofia Fondamental (4 vols., 1846, Eng. trans. by H. F. Brownson, 2 vols. New York, 1856), and the Curso de Filosofia Elemental (4 vols., 1847), which he translated into Latin for use in seminaries.

See A. de Blanche-Raffin, Jacques Balmes, sa vie et ses ouvrages (Paris, 1849); and E. Bullon Fernandez, Jaime Balmis y sus oberas (Madrid, 1903).

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