Particularity and Polemic (ii): Quietism

Richard Parish

in Catholic Particularity in Seventeenth-Century French Writing

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780199596669
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729126 | DOI:
Particularity and Polemic (ii): Quietism

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The second part of this bipartite enquiry looks at the movement known as Quietism. This is above all associated with its principal exponent, Madame Guyon, whose works are examined. It looks at the apparently technical distinctions between contemplation and meditation, and at the progressively more personal polemic that was initiated between Bossuet and Fénelon, whose attitudes were both divergent and yet grounded in the same dogmatic principles. It also stresses the role of the spiritual director, and of the process of vulgarization in the promotion of the highest spiritual ideals. As in the previous chapter, the enquiry concludes with an examination of the possible reasons for the attractiveness of the movement, and a comparative survey of the two perceived heresies with respect to the criterion of tolerance.

Keywords: Quietism; Madame Guyon; contemplation; meditation; Bossuet; Fénelon; spiritual direction; vulgarization; tolerance

Chapter.  14780 words. 

Subjects: History of Christianity

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