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Neither Angel nor Beast by Francis X.J. Coleman

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14

THE SUPREME APOLOGIST

In the ‘Preface’ that he wrote for the 1670 Port-Royal edition of the Pensées, Etienne Périer, Florian’s brother, testifies that Pascal was about thirty years of age when he gave up the study of physics and mathematics and turned all his attention to the study of the Scriptures, the Church Fathers, and Christian morality. The project of writing a grand defense of the Christian religion can therefore be traced to 1653. The archdeacon of Beauvais, Bridieu, familiar with the project from the beginning, writes that ‘Monsieur Pascal composed these fragments for eight strong minds of Poitou who did not believe in God; he wanted to convince them by moral and natural reasons.’ The first notes that Pascal made for the Apology ...

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