We are reading Tartuffe for our lit class. The professor introduced the characters to us. Tartuffe, he said, was a sect of Catholicism known as Jansenism. He continued further to talk about “Catholic Jansenists” who considered themselves holy and did physically damaging things such as wear hair shirts. He said, “the Church approved of these Jansenists, which is why many of them were saints.”
He was not being offensive, it just appeared to be his general (mis)understanding of Catholicism and its beliefs.
To be honest, I can’t recall the specifics of Jansenism. I remember reading Belloc in highschool and currently I have the vague idea that it was a heresy staunchly protested by the Church. Is this correct?