Title

The Spiritual Leadership of Madame Guyon and Madame de Maintenon under Louis XIV

Abstract

In chapter 3, history professor Sydney Watts offers an illuminating essay titled "The Spiritual Leadership of Madame Guyon and Madame de Maintenon under Louis XIV." Watts focuses on the spiritual leadership of two elite French women, Madame Guyon, and Madame de Maintenon, who dedicated their lives to instill in young women a desire for virtue and pure love-spiritual goals that eclipsed the subordinate place women held under patriarchal authority. During the late seventeenth- and early eighteenth centuries, religious identity among French female elite was often caught between the political and ecclesiastic tensions under royal absolutism and the personal demands put upon women as forms of movalbe property as much as ossified vessels of aristocratic beauty. As the Counter-Reformation brought with it a place for women to engage their intellectual faculties in the salon, many sought new ways to cultivate their spiritual lives by focusing on questions of religious piety and morals.

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date

2016

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2016 Palgrave Macmillan. This chapter first appeared in Frontiers in Spiritual Leadership: Discovering the Better Angels of Our Nature.

Read the introduction to the book by clicking the Read More button above.