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The Pure Love of Madame Guyon: The Great Conflict in King Louis XIV's Court

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In seventeenth-century France, Madame Guyon wrote about the concept of "pure love." "Love pure and holy, is a deathless fire," she wrote, and is "ethereal fare." Her popular books spread quickly through Europe and the New World, drawing the attention of Louis XIV and the court at Versailles. The Inquisition attacked her writing and concepts, resulting in her decade long incarceration, including years in the Bastille. Archbishop Fénelon defended Guyon while the leading cleric, Bishop Bossuet, demanded that the Vatican condemn Fénelon and Guyon as heretics.A contemporaneous historian wrote a history of the "Great Conflict" between Guyon, Bossuet, Fénelon, and the Vatican entitled Supplement to the Life of Madame Guyon, which is regarded as having been written in the eighteenth-century. Professor Nancy C. James's translation of this manuscript from the Bodleian Library at Oxford University is featured in this book, coupled with an analysis of the powerful theology of Guyon that influenced both the growth of the Quakers and Romanticism. This history addresses roots of our social conflicts as individual consciences struggle against destructive political power.

Nancy C. James is a Priest Associate at St. John's, Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C., and an Adjunct Professor at Marymount University, Arlington, Virginia. She received her M.Div. from Virginia Theological Seminary and her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia.

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Book details

  • PDF | 130 pages
  • UPA; 1st edition (June 14, 2007)
  • English
  • 3
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  • By Avid Reader on July 2, 2007

    In seventeenth-century France, Madame Guyon wrote about the concept of "pure love." "Love pure and holy, is a deathless fire," she wrote, and is "ethereal fare." Her popular books spread quickly through Europe and the New World, drawing the attention of Louis XIV and the court at Versailles. The Inquisition attacked her writing and concepts resulting in her decade long incarceration including years in the Bastille. Archbishop Fénelon defended Guyon while the leading cleric, Bishop Bossuet, demanded that the Vatican condemn Fénelon and Guyon as heretics.A contemporaneous historian wrote a history of the "Great Conflict" between Guyon, Bossuet, Fénelon, and the Vatican entitled Supplement to the Life of Madame Guyon, which is regarded as having been written in the eighteenth-century. Professor Nancy C. James's translation of this manuscript from the Bodleian Library at Oxford University is featured in this book coupled with an analysis of the powerful theology of Guyon that influenced both the growth of the Quakers and Romanticism. This history addresses roots of our social conflicts as individual consciences struggle against destructive political power.University Press of AmericaAbout The AuthorNancy C. James is a Priest Associate at St. John's, Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C. and an Adjunct Professor at Marymount University, Arlington, Virginia. She received her M.Div. from Virginia Theological Seminary and her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. Her first book is entitled Standing in the Whirlwind (2005). She is currently working on an anthology of Madame Guyon's writings.

  • By Elizabeth Denham on January 5, 2015

    The writer is not at fault for this mediocre rating. Mme Guyon's spirituality was controversial in her own day and remains so.


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