M. Bruno Neveu

M. Bruno Neveu      
Written by Royal Deputation   
 

We regret to announce the death of M. Bruno Neveu, Catholic historian and convivial director of the Maison Francaise d'Oxford, Knight of Merit with Star.

Bruni Neveu was one of the most distinguished and productive historians of the Early Modern Catholic Church. His main contribution lay in the field of 17th-century theology and erudition, though in recent years he had moved forwards in time and was working on the impact of modernism on the Church. He had very close connections with Britain, having been Director of the Maison Francaise in Oxford in the 1980s and subsequently maintaining a wide circle of friends over here.

Born in 1936, Neveu, the son of an engineer, began his university studies in his native Grenoble. His merits earned him a place at the Ecole Nationale des Chartes in Paris - the school for the study of documents of all periods - and it was as a chartiste with the diploma of "archiviste paleographe" that he first made his mark. He secured one of the coveted scholarships at the Fondation Thiers, which provided him with board and lodging in Paris.

It was during this period, 1963-66, that he obtained a doctorate at the Sorbonne and produced his great work Un Historien a l'Ecole de Port-Royal: Sebastien Le Nain de Tillemont ("A Historian of the School of Port-Royal: Sebastien Le Nain de Tillemont", 1966). It was a careful delineation of the strands of thought and scholarship that underpinned both theology and erudition in the pre-Enlightenment age. Neveu managed to write sensitively about the contribution of Jansenists without hostility to them but also without personal commitment to their cause.

 

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