Jaime Luciano Balmes (August 28, 1810—July 9, 1848), Spanish ecclesiastic, eminent as a political writer and a philosopher, was born and died at Vich in Catalonia.
Having attacked the regent Espartero and been exiled he founded and edited on his return the El Pensamiento de la Nación, a Catholic and Conservative weekly; but his fame rests principally on El Protestantismo comparado con el Catolicismo en sus relaciones con la Civilisación Europea (3 vols., 1842—1844, 6th edition, 1879; Eng. trans. London, 1849), an able defence of Catholicism on the ground that it represents the spirit of obedience or order, as opposed to Protestantism, the spirit of revolt or anarchy. From the historical standpoint it is of little value.
The best of his philosophical works, which are clear expositions of the scholastic system of thought, are the Filosofia Fondamental (4 vols., 1846, Eng. trans. by H. F. Brownson, 2 vols. New York, 1856), and the Curso de Filosofia Elemental (4 vols., 1847), which he translated into Latin for use in seminaries.