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Born at Nantes, France, he entered the Society of Jesus in October 1895. He was ordained priest on 24 August 1908 at Hastings. The same year he had obtained a doctorate for two theses presented to the Sorbonne: L'intellectualisme de saint Thomas and Pour l'histoire du probleme de l'amour au Moyen Age. In November 1909 he entered the Institut Catholique at Paris; he was given the chair of dogmatic theology in the following year, which he occupied till he was called to military service in 1914, apart from a year (1912–13) spent in England. He was killed in battle at Éparges, on 25 April 1915.
Rousselot’s L’intellectualisme de saint Thomas drew attention to the continuing vitality in Thomas’ synthesis of Christian Platonism.
Rousselot suggested a new concept of revelation: that revelation be conceived not as a sum total of distinct truths, propositions, judgments, but as a kind of knowledge that is indefinitely cashable (monnayable) in distinct ideas and propositions which explicitate it without being able to exhaust it, and without claiming to supplement it. Revelation, he proposed, was the living and loving knowledge that the apostles had of Jesus. The mode in which the many dogmas are precontained in the single changeless knowledge which is the apostolic deposit is not logical, but Christological. De Lubac’s contribution to the question of doctrinal development is largely a restatement of that of Rousselot, whose papers he studied and published.
- L'intellectualisme de saint Thomas, (Paris, 1908; 2nd ed. 1921). [English translation: The intellectualism of Saint Thomas, translated by Rev. Fr. James E. O'Mahony O.M.Cap, (1935).]
- Pour l'histoire du probleme de l'amour au Moyen Age, (Munster, 1908). [English translation: Pierre Rousselot, The Problem of Love in the Middle Ages: A Historical Contribution, translated and with an introduction by Alan Vincelette (Milwaukee, WI: Marquette University Press, 1998).]
- "Amour spirituel et synthese apperceptive." Revue de philosophie (March 1910) 225-240.
- "L'etre et l'esprit." Revue de philosophie (June 1910) 561-574.
- "Les yeux de la foi." Recherches de science religieuse (1910) 241-259, 444-475.
- "La metaphysique thomiste et la critique de la connaissance." Revue neo-scolastique (1910) 476-409.
- "Remarques sur l'histoire de la notion de foi naturelle." Recherches de science religieuse (1913) 1-36.
- "La religion chretienne." Christus, manuel d'histoire des religions, ed. J. Huby. 1912. 3rd ed. 1921.
- "Intellectualisme." Dictionnaire apologetique (1914) 2:col. 1066-1080.
- P. de Grandmaison. Notice sur le P. Rousselot, et bibliographie de ses ecrits, dans l'introduction a la 2nd edition de l'Intellectualisme de saint Thomas.
- J. Lebreton. "Rousselot (Pierre)." Dictionnaire de theologie catholique. Paris: Librarie Letouzey et Ane, 1939. 14:col. 134-138.
- Lebreton 14:col. 134.
- Aidan Nichols, From Newman to Congar: The Idea of Doctrinal Development from the Victorians to the Second Vatican Council (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1990) 197.
- Nichols 202.