Piny, Alexander

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Dominican theologian; b. Allos, Provence, Feb. 25, 1640; d. Paris, Jan. 20, 1709. He came from a middle-class family of noble lineage, and entered the Friars Preachers in his early youth. In 1676, after preaching and teaching philosophy and theology in Provence, he was named master in sacred theology and appointed professor of Sacred Scripture at the newly erected national Dominican studium in Paris, a post he retained for 16 years. Having already published two multivolume texts in Thomistic philosophy and theology, he brought out the first of many works in spiritual theology in 1680.

Piny represents the Thomistic viewpoint in the quietist controversy and resembles Fénelon and the semiquietists in his mode of expression, but his teaching was never unorthodox. He was influenced by St. Thomas and Tauler through Chadron, rather than by Molinos or Mme. Guyon. In 1685, before the condemnations of quietism, either on the advice of his superiors or through his own prudence, he stopped writing and devoted himself to the direction of souls.

Bibliography: Anné Dominicaine (Jan. 1912) 508518. h. brÉmond, Histoire littéraire du sentiment réligieux en France depuis la fin des guerres de religion jusqu'à nos jours (Paris 191136) 8:78178. m. m. gorce, Figures Dominicaines (Juvisy, France 1935); Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant et al. (Paris 190350) 12:211924. j. quÉtif and j. Échard, Scriptores Ordinis Praedicatorum (New York 1959) 2.2:772773.

[m. beissel]