François de Salignac de la Mothe Fénelon


Quick Reference


Much admired French theologian and writer. As tutor to the Duke of Burgundy, he wrote Télémaque (1699), holding up Ulysses as an example for the young prince. Other writings include a treatise (1687) on female education, and Explications des maximes des saints (1697), mystical instructions in faith for which Fénelon was banished. His quietism brought a long quarrel with his former patron Bossuet, which was settled in 1699 when Pope Innocent XII condemned Fénelon. His Refuta-tion of Malebranche was a relatively young work; as a philosopher he was influenced by Augus-tine and Descartes, but notable for the charm of his writing rather than originality or precision of thought.

Subjects: Literature.

Reference entries

See all related reference entries in Oxford Index »