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|English to English translations [PRO]|
History / history
|English term or phrase: purged of laxism|
|By 1815, the Churches had been revitalized by the ordeal and purged of eighteenth-century laxism, but they had also become more rigid in their intransigent opposition to the principles of 1789 and to liberalism, and they sought an alliance of Throne and Altar to combat irreligion and anticlericalism.|
According to my research, laxism is a theory stating that you may believe in views slightly likely to be true, even though there are other views more likely to be true. Applied to the the conflict between freedom and law, it means that a probable argument in favor of freedom allows you to act against the law. It appears that the Church was against this theory. So I just don't know how to read purged of. According to Webster's it could mean either "to get rid of" (as though there was laxism within the church and it got rid of it) or "to prove to be innocent" (as when you're charged with an offense). Any ideas? Thanks in advance.
|English translation:got rid of|
It seems clear to me that your author believes that "the Churches" had become somewhat tainted with laxism during the 18th century. Whether he is right I have no idea, but it is plain to me that this is what he believes.
I also agree with CC that "the Churches" is at least questionable on the assumption that this refers to France, which continued at this time to be largely dominated by the Catholic Church (although laxism itself had allowed some degree of toleration to establish itself).
I don´t think this refers to the lax morals of clerics (do they ever change?), it refers to doctrinal positions, rather than to the realities.
I definitely read "purged" as got rid of, not "proved itself innocent of". Maybe "got rid of, and demonstrated itself to have got rid of", but I think you have to have eaten of the fruit to be in a position to purge yourself of it.
I´m not using any reference works, though, I´m just reading it. :-)
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is about all I can think of. But the author seems pretty much intent on calling it "purge", the word having a connotation of over-reaching and onerous political authority. I can`t avoid noticing the concurrence of two key symbols of Russia during the Cold War: "ism" and "purging". Do you think you may want to leave those word coincidences as they are?
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Purged of `laxist' views on points of morals and discipline
There appears to be some specific, doctrinal sense which is meant here, Rubén, though I don't completely understand it, never having hear the word before.
Let's just go with the O.E.D. (again) :
--laxism læ.ksiz'm. [f; lax a. + -ism. ] The views of the `laxists'.
1895 Dublin Rev. Oct. 276 Laxism and Jansenism.
--laxist læ.ksist. [f; lax a. + -ist. ] One who favours lax views or interpretation: spec. the designation given by modern historians to the school of casuists in the Roman church who maintained that it was justifiable to follow any probability, however slight, in favour of liberty. Also attrib.
1865 F. Oakeley in Ess. Relig. & Lit; 144 One of two extreme attitudes; that of unpractical theorists, on the one hand, or that of practical laxists on the other.
1882 Littledale in Encycl. Brit. XIV. 638/2 Some of the stricter casuists say so, but Liguori sides with the laxists.
1884 Ch. Times 366/2 There is a disastrous recommendation of the laxist school in handling moral questions.
1890 Guardian 7 May 741/1 There have been `rigorist' and `laxist' views on points of morals and discipline.
It is interesting to not that the term seems to have come into use only in the mid-19th c., if we can believe the OED (we can).
"Purge" otOh, in the sense of "To make physically pure or clean; to cleanse; to rid of whatever is impure or extraneous; to clear or free of, from,"
has a venerable English usage, going back to the 14th century :
1340 Hampole Psalter xvi. 4 Þe fournas þat purges metall;
A. 1400-50 Stockh. Med. MS. 145 A good watir to purgyn a mannys face of sprotys.
1473 Rental Bk. Cupar-Angus (1879) I. 167 To syft it and purge it [the seed] sa that al thing be put to profit.
1526 Tindale Matt. iii. 12 He..will pourge his floore.
1607 Topsell Four-f. Beasts (1658) 64 When Augea saw that his stable was purged by art, and not by labour.
1737 Whiston Josephus, Antiq. iii. x. Sect.5 They purge the barley from the bran.
Note added at 2003-01-08 17:20:34 (GMT)
I\'m beginning to understand it a bit.
\"The school of casuists in the Roman church who maintained that it was justifiable to follow any probability, however slight, in favour of liberty\" seems to indicate that there is a specifically *political* (rather than moral) sense intended here.
\"The principles of 1789 and to liberalism\" certainly suggests that as well.
\"By 1815\" --i.e., between the Revolution of \'89 and the end of the Napoleonic wars-- \"and they sought an alliance of Throne and Altar to combat irreligion and anticlericalism\" --i.e., the *church* (should be singular, I think) had more or less recovered from the Revolutionary experience, which had been something of a disaster for her.
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