ESPEN, ZEGER BERNHARD VAN: One of the canonists who endeavored to carry out the principles of the episcopal system of the Roman Catholic Church as developed in France and exercised a great influence on the doctrine and practise developed from that system in the Netherlands and Germany; b. at Louvain July 9, 1646; d. at Amersfoort (12 m. e.n.e. of Utrecht) Oct. 2, 1728. He studied theology and canon law at Louvain, was made a priest in 1673, doctor of law in 1675 and professor of canon law in his native city. His lectures and elegantly written works soon made him famous, and from all sides his decisions on canon law were demanded. His main work, Jus ecclesiasticum universum (Louvain, 1700; Cologne, 1702), is still a treasure for the canonists, although it was put on the Index in 1704 because he defended the Jansenists.