Charron, Pierre

Charron, Pierre pyĕr shärôNˈ [key], 1541–1603, French Roman Catholic theologian and philosopher. He was an important contributor to 17th-century theological thought, combining an individual form of skepticism with a strict adherence to Catholicism based on the emphasis of the importance of faith over reason. After practicing law for several years, he took orders and soon gained a reputation as an eloquent preacher. He became chaplain to Margaret, wife of Henry IV. His Traité des trois vérités (1594) set forth proofs, first, that there is a God and that a true religion exists; second, that no other religion than that of the Christians is true; and, third, that in the Roman Catholic Church alone is salvation found. In 1600 he published a collection of 16 sermons. In his most famous work, the Traité de la sagesse (1601), the influence of Montaigne, with whom he had a close relationship, appears. The skepticism of that work awoke criticism and later a summary and apology, Petit traité de la sagesse, was published.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches: General Biographies