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Feminism, absolutism, and Jansenism [electronic resource] : Louis XIV and the Port-Royal nuns /
Daniella Kostroun.
imprint
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2011.
description
xiii, 273 p. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
1107000459, 9781107000452
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2011.
isbn
1107000459
9781107000452
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
contents note
Jansenism as a "woman problem" -- Controversy and reform at Port Royal -- Jansenism's political turn, 1652-1661 -- The limits to obedience, 1661-1664 -- A feminist response to absolutism, 1664-1669 -- The unsettled peace, 1669-1679 -- A royal victory, 1679-1709.
abstract
"Feminism, absolutism, and Jansenism chronicles seventy years of Jansenist conflict and its complex intersection with power struggles between gallican bishops, Parlementaires, the Crown, and the pope. Daniella Kostroun focuses on the nuns of Port-Royal-des-Champs, whose community was disbanded by Louis XIV in 1709 as a threat to the state. Paradoxically, it was the nuns' adherence to their strict religious rule and the ideal of pious, innocent, and politically disinterested behavior that allowed them to challenge absolutism effectively. Adopting methods from cultural studies, feminism, and the Cambridge school of political thought, Kostroun examines how these nuns placed gender at the heart of the Jansenist challenge to the patriarchal and religious foundations of absolutism; they responded to royal persecution with a feminist defense of women's spiritual and rational equality and of the autonomy of the individual subject, thereby offering a bold challenge to the patriarchal and religious foundations of absolutism"--Provided by publisher.
catalogue key
8362786
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2012-02-01:
Kostroun (Indiana Univ.-Purdue Univ., Indianapolis) presents a well-argued, sympathetic account of the nuns of Port Royal des Champs, from the Arnaud sisters in the 1630s to the convent's destruction in 1709. The author explores Louis XIV's obsession with the convent as the center of Jansenism. She argues that Louis XIV inherited Cardinal Mazarin's political strategy of using heresy to attack noble opponents, but changed course by intervening in religion to emphasize his own divine right. The nuns, while accepting patriarchal ideas about women and female ignorance of theology, argued that women as well as men had the right to reason and to follow their individual consciences. This, coupled with their emphasis on monastic reform and their piety, undercut divine right monarchy by implying that its actions rested upon illegal use of authority. The study is original in its focus on the role of the nuns inside the convent and its exploration of their shrewd efforts by letters and legal appeals to rally opinion against their opponents. While of interest to scholars, the book's clear explanation of basic tenets and figures in Jansenism makes the work accessible to nonspecialists. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. D. C. Baxter emeritus, Ohio University
Reviews
Review Quotes
"...those who follow lines of power and social influence will find much here to digest." -William Beik, The Journal of Modern History
"While of interest to scholars, the book's clear explanation of basic tenets and figures in Jansenism makes the work accessible to nonspecialists. Recommended." -Choice
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, February 2012
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Description for Bookstore
Examines the role of the nuns of Port-Royal-des-Champs in the Jansenist struggle against absolutism. Paradoxically, it was the nuns' adherence to their strict religious rule and the ideal of pious, innocent and politically disinterested behavior that allowed them to challenge absolutism effectively, creating a feminist defense of women's spiritual and rational equality and of the autonomy of the individual subject.
Description for Bookstore
Feminism, Absolutism, and Jansenism examines the role of the nuns of Port-Royal-des-Champs in the Jansenist struggle against absolutism. Paradoxically, it was the nuns' adherence to their strict religious rule and the ideal of pious, innocent, and politically disinterested behavior that allowed them to challenge absolutism effectively, creating a feminist defense of women's spiritual and rational equality and of the autonomy of the individual subject.
Main Description
Feminism, Absolutism, and Jansenism chronicles seventy years of Jansenist conflict and its complex intersection with power struggles between gallican bishops, Parlementaires, the Crown, and the pope. Daniella Kostroun focuses on the nuns of Port-Royal-des-Champs, whose community was disbanded by Louis XIV in 1709 as a threat to the state. Paradoxically, it was the nuns' adherence to their strict religious rule and the ideal of pious, innocent, and politically disinterested behavior that allowed them to challenge absolutism effectively. Adopting methods from cultural studies, feminism, and the Cambridge School of political thought, Kostroun examines how these nuns placed gender at the heart of the Jansenist challenge to the patriarchal and religious foundations of absolutism; they responded to royal persecution with a feminist defense of women's spiritual and rational equality and of the autonomy of the individual subject, thereby offering a bold challenge to the patriarchal and religious foundations of absolutism.
Table of Contents
Introduction
Jansenism as a 'woman problem'
Controversy and reform at Port Royal
Jansenism's political turn, 1652-1661
The limits to obedience, 1661-1664
A feminist response to absolutism, 1664-1669
The unsettled peace, 1669-1679
A royal victory, 1679-1709
Conclusion
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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