Houteville, Alexandre Claude FrançoIs

Houteville, Alexandre Claude François A French theologian, was born at Paris in. 1688, became a member of the Congregation of the Oratory in 1704, and remained such for some eighteen years. He was then appointed secretary to cardinal Dubois. In 1722 he published La Verite de la religion Chretienne prouvee par les faits (Paris, 4to; new ed. Paris, 1749, 4 vols. 12mo), "which had a 'wonderful though scarcely deserved popularity at one time" (Hook, Ecclesiastes Biog. 6:198), and provoked considerable controversy. In 1723 he was made abbé of St. Vincent du Bourg-sur-Mer, in the diocese of Bordeaux. In 1728 he published Essai philosophique sur la Providence. In 1740 he published a second edition of his Vérité de la religion Chretienne (Paris, 3 vols. 4to). This edition, greatly enlarged, contains a historical and critical discourse upon the method of the principal authors who wrote for and against Christianity from its beginning (which was translated and published separately, with a Dissertation on the Life of Apollonius Tyanceus, and some Observations on the Platonists of the latter School, London 1739, 8vo). "It contains little information concerning the authors or the events, but a clearly and correctly, written analysis of their works and thoughts" (Farrar, Crit. History of Free Thought, p. 15). In 1742 he was honored with the appointment of "perpetual secretary" to the French Academy. He died Nov. 8, 1742. — Biographie Univ. 20:620 sq.; Chaudon and Delandine, Nouv. — Dict. Hist. 6, 316; Dict. Hist. 9:45 sq. (J. H.W.)

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