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NOEL ALEXANDRE (NATALIS ALEXANDER) (1...

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Originally appearing in Volume V01, Page 568 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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NOEL ALEXANDRE (NATALIS ALEXANDER) (1639-1724)  , French theologian and ecclesiastical historian, was born at
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Rouen on the 19th of
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January 1639 . In his 15th
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year he joined the
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Dominicans, and shortly after his ordination was appointed professor of philosophy at the convent of Saint-Jacques in Paris . The success of his subsequent lectures at the
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Sorbonne led to his selection by Colbert as tutor to his son, Jacques Nicolas Colbert, afterwards archbishop of Rouen . Alexandre obtained the degree of doctor in divinity from the Sorbonne in 1675 and for twelve years taught philosophy,
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theology and ecclesiastical law to the members of the Saint-Jacques community . He played a prominent
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part in ecclesiastical affairs and preached several times before Louis XIV., who granted him an
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annual pension of 800 livres, and in the general assemblies of the French bishops . He became provincial of his order in 1706, but was banished to
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Chatellerault in 1709 for having subscribed to the Cas de conscience (1703), and was deprived of his pension in 1713 on account of his opposition to the bull Unigenitus . He died in Paris on the 21st of August 1724, having lost his sight some time before owing to his strenuous
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literary activity . His numerous
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works are still much valued by ecclesiastical students . His best-known
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work, the Selecta historiae ecclesiasticae capita, et in loco ejusdem insignia dissertationes historicae, chronologicae, dogmaticae (26 vols., Paris, 1676-1686), was placed on the
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Index by Innocent XI., on account of his bold defence of the Gallican claims . In 1689 he brought out at Paris his
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history of the Old Testament: Selecta historiae Veteris Testamenti capita, &c., in 6 vols . Of the numerous
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editions of Alexandre's ecclesiastical history the best is that of P . J .

D . Mansi, which contains many valuable notes and additions (11 vols.,

Lucca, 1749) and has been frequently reprinted . Alexandre's
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principal contribution to theological literature is his Theologia dogmatica et moralis secundum ordinem catechismi concilii Tridentini (to vols., Paris, 1694), in which he clearly shows himself a
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disciple of the Thomist school . His Conformite
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des ceremonies chinoises avec l'idoldtrie grecque et romaine and
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Sept lettres sur
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les ceremonies de la Chine (both published at Cologne in 1700) are interesting as they mark him out as a
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pioneer in the study of
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comparative religion . See Catalogue complet des suvres du Pere Alexandre (Paris, 1716) ; Quetif-Echard, Scriptores ordinis praedicatorum (Paris, 1719-1721), t. n. p . 810; and full bibliography in A . Vacant,
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Diet. de theologse (scholarly article by P . Mandounet, cols . 769-772) .

End of Article: NOEL ALEXANDRE (NATALIS ALEXANDER) (1639-1724)
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