BOSO: Third English cardinal; d. after 1178. His name was Boso Breakspear and he was a nephew of Pope Adrian IV (Nicholas Breakspear). He belonged to the Benedictine monastery of St. Albans, but went to Rome probably under Eugenius III. From Nov. 6, 1149, to May 3, 1152, he calls himself Romanœ ecclesiœ scriptor. Adrian IV made him his chamberlain early in his pontificate, probably therefore in 1154, and later made him cardinal deacon of Sts. Cosmas and Damian; under Alexander III he became cardinal priest of St. Pudentiana. With the latter title his signature appears to a number of papal bulls from March 18, 1166, to July 10, 1178, soon after which he appears to have died. He was a strong supporter of the policy of Adrian and Alexander. He wrote nine poetical lives of female saints, which are still in manuscript and was a poet of considerable merit. For the papal biographies composed by him see LIBER PONTIFICALIS.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: The sources for a life are in Thietmar of Merseburg, Chronicon, MGH, Script., iii (1839), 750. Consult Migne, Encyclopédie théologique, vol. xxxi, Dictionnaire des Cardinaux, s.v.; T. Greenwood, Cathedra Petri, London, 1856; DNB, v, 421; KL, ii, 1129-30. Consult also the biographies of Adrian IV and Alexander III.
BOSSE, FRIEDRICH: German Lutheran; b. at Rossla (38 m. w. of Halle) Aug. 23, 1864. He was educated at the universities of Tübingen, Berlin (Ph.D., 1886), Marburg, Heidelberg, and Greifswald, completing his studies in 1890. In the following year he became privat-docent at the University of Greifswald, and from 1892 to 1894 was provisional
BOSSUET, bes"sü"ê', JACQUES BÉNIGNE: Bishop of Meaux (about 27 m. e.n.e. of Paris); b. at Dijon Sept. 27, 1627; d. in Paris Apr. 12, 1704. He began his studies in the Jesuit school of Dijon, and finished at the College de Navarre, Paris. He became priest and doctor of theology, 1652; after some time spent in retirement at St. Lazare, he went to Metz, where he was canon and archdeacon, acquired great fame as a preacher, and engaged in controversy with representatives of the Reformed Churches. At the request of his bishop he published his first work (1655), a Réfutation of the catechism of Paul Ferry. In 1669 he was made bishop of Condom, Gascony, but resigned this office after he was appointed tutor to the dauphin (1670). When the education of his pupil was finished, in 1681, he was made bishop of Meaux. Bossuet adopted the Cartesian philosophy, to which he added the Thomist theology and a great admiration for Augustine. He is generally considered the foremost of French preachers; and, in so far as the art of eloquence is concerned, his six Oraisons funèbres (best collected eds., by Lequeux, Paris, 1762, and, with notes, etc., by A. Gasté, 1883) must be ranked among the finest specimens of Christian oratory, though they reflect the splendor and greatness of Louis Quatorze more vividly than the power and humility of the Gospel. As tutor to the dauphin he wrote De la connaissance de Dieu et de soi-même (1722; better ed., 1741) and Discours sur l'histoire universelle depuis le commencement du monde jusqu'à l'empire de Charlemagne (1681; 5th ed., enlarged, 1703; the continuation to 1661, published 1806, was printed from his notes), the latter of which is a strikingly original attempt to construct a Christian philosophy of history on the principle that the destinies of nations are controlled by providence in the interest of the Roman Catholic Church. Among his controversial writings against the Protestants, the two most remarkable are Exposition de la doctrine de l'Église catholique sur les matières de controverse (1671) and Histoire des variations des Églises protestantes (2 vols., 1688; best ed., 4 vols., 1689). The latter was sharply criticized by Jurieu and Basnage, and involved its author in a long and vehement controversy. He characterized the revocation of the Edict of Nantes (1685) as "le plus bel usage de l'autorité," but he was no ultramontanist. He presided in 1682 over the assembly of the French clergy which the king had convened to defend the royal prerogatives and the liberties of the Gallican Church against the claims of the pope. Nor was he in the least tainted by mysticism. His attacks on Fénelon and the Quietists approached very near to persecution. He was one of the greatest of the many distinguished men who lent brilliancy to the century of Louis XIV, but he was a representative of his time, and his ideas of church polity corresponded to, if they were not dictated by, the king's "l'état, c'est moi."
BIBLIOGRAPHY: There have been many editions of his works; the basis of most of them is that prepared by the Abbé Pérau, at government expense, 20 vols., Paris, 1743-1750; three volumes of Œuvres posthumes, ed. by C. F. Leroy were published in 1753; the best edition is the Œuvres complètes, by F. Lechat and others, 31 vols., 1862-66; with appendix of Œuvres inédites, 2 vols., 1881-1883. Besides many single sermons accessible in English translation, the following works may be mentioned: Select Sermons and Funeral Orations, 1801; A Survey of Universal History, 1819; A Conference [between Bossuet and J. Claude, Mar. 1, 1679] on the Authority of the Church, London, 1841; An Exposition of the Doctrine of the Catholic Faith, 1841; Elevations to God, 1850; The History of the Variations of the Protestant Churches, 2 vols., Dublin, 1836; Meditations, London, 1901.
For a bibliography consult H. M. Bourseaud, Histoire et description des MSS. et des éditions originales des ouvrages de Bossuet, Paris 1898 (includes translations).
For his life and writings and his relations to Fénelon, Jansenism, Quietism, etc., consult: L. F. de Bausset, Histoire de Jacques Bénigne Bossuet, 4 vols., Paris, 1814, Besançon, 1846; M. M. Tabaraud, Supplément aux histoires de Bossuet . . . composé par . . . de Bausset, Paris, 1822; F. le Dieu (his secretary), Mémoires et journal sur la vie et les ouvrages de Bossuet, 4 vols., ib. 1856-57; A. Réaume, Histoire de J.–B. Bossuet et de ses œuvres, 3 vols., ib. 1869; Mrs. H. L. (Farrer) Lear, Bossuet and his Contemporaries, London, 1874; C A. Sainte-Beuve, Essays on Men and Women, ib. 1890; R. de la Broise, Bossuet et la Bible, Paris, 1891; G. Lanson, Bossuet, ib. 1891 (a study of the writings); A. Rébelliau, Bossuet, historien du protestantisme, ib. 1891; Sir J. F. Stephen, Horœ Sabbaticœ, vol. ii, London, 1892; C. E. Freppel, Bossuet et l'eloquence sacrée au xvii, sicèle, Paris, 1893; J. Denis, Querelle de Bossuet et de Fénlon, ib. 1894; L. Crouslé, Fénelon et Bossuet. Études morales et littéraires, 2 vols., ib. 1894-95; A. M. P. Ingod, Bossuet et jansénisme, ib.1897.
Calvin College. Last modified on 05/10/04. Contact the CCEL.