Chapter

Introduction

Ronney Mourad and Dianne Guenin-Lelle

in The Prison Narratives of Jeanne Guyon

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199841127
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919536 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199841127.003.0001

Series: AAR Religions in Translation

Introduction

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The introduction explores Guyon's reasons for not publishing the Prison Narratives along with the rest of her autobiography and shows how Guyon's early reputation among Protestants outside France was shaped by this gripping account of her confinement—copied and circulated by her supporters—which revealed many of the religious and social forces behind the Quietist Affair for the first time. The introduction contests mainstream accounts of this important historical event in light of her perspective as the victim of a carefully orchestrated political conspiracy. It shows how Guyon's unusual situation as a female prisoner of conscience defies theoretical generalizations about women's prison literature and clarifies the literary strategy of Guyon's well-known Life by comparing it with her Prison Narratives. The introduction also analyzes Guyon's positions on several perennial theological issues, including the meaning of evil and suffering, the balance of activity and passivity in the spiritual life, and the means of the soul's progress toward union with God.

Keywords: Jeanne Guyon; Quietism; women's prison literature; autobiography; problem of evil; mysticism

Chapter.  24025 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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