Charles De Smedt

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Charles De Smedt (6 April 1833, Ghent, Belgium – 4 March 1911, Brussels) was a Belgian Jesuit priest and hagiographer. He was a Bollandist, and is noted for having introduced critical historical methods into Catholic hagiography, so that it became a collection of accounts of the accretion of legends, as well as the compilation of original materials.[1]

He is best known for his contribution to hagiography but also to history and metaphysics. His contribution to the development of a critical approach to History is epitomized in his masterpiece: Principes de la critique historique.

He revived the Bollandist Society and founded it scholarly journal, the Analecta Bollandiana in 1882 with G. van Hooff and Joseph de Backer.[2]


  • Introductio generalis ad historiam ecclesiasticam critice tractandam (1876)
  • L'Église et la science (1877), early reply to the conflict thesis
  • Principes de la critique historique, Bruxelles, 1883.


  1. ^ Coudeyrette, Jean-Paul. "Compilhistoire ; toute reproduction à but non lucratif est autorisée" (in French). A partir de 1876, le père Charles de Smedt (1831-1911) fait appliquer les principes de la critique moderne. Tous les textes concernant les saints sont édités avec leurs variantes et leurs remaniements de manière à permettre de faire non seulement l’histoire des saints, mais aussi celle de leur légende. 
  2. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Bollandists". Encyclopædia Britannica. 4 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 178.