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Jeanne Marie Bouvier de la Motte Guyon

From: France
Fields: Religion
Guyon, Jeanne Marie Bouvier de la Motte (1648-1717), French mystic. She was known as Madame Guyon. She was born in Montargis and educated in convent schools. Left a rich widow at the age of 28, she came under the influence of Père François Lacombe, a French Barnabite monk, and with him started spreading her philosophy of mysticism in southeastern France. She introduced into France the doctrine of quietism, which stresses the religious value of contemplation. Her ideas aroused the severe criticism of the archbishop of Paris, and in 1688 she was imprisoned; she was released the next year through the influence of Françoise d'Aubigné, marquise de Maintenon, wife of King Louis XIV of France. During the next four years, Guyon was often present at the court and formed a friendship with the French writer and prelate François de Salignac de la Mothe Fénelon. Imprisoned again for her writings in 1695, she remained incarcerated until 1703, when she was released on condition that she leave Paris and live in retirement with her son near Blois. She spent her last years performing charitable deeds, and died professing absolute belief in the Roman Catholic church. Her writings include Le cantique des cantiques interprété selon le sens mystique (The Song of Solomon Interpreted According to Its Mystical Sense, 1685) and Discours Chrétiens et spirituels (Christian and Spiritual Discourses, 1716).

"Guyon, Jeanne Marie Bouvier de la Motte" Microsoft® Encarta.
Copyright© 1995 Microsoft Corporation.


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