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Writings of Resistance

An erudite abbess of Port-Royal, Angélique de Saint-Jean Arnauld d’Andilly (1624–1684) resisted the demands of church and state to condemn the Jansenist theological doctrines which the convent had long upheld. In her autobiographical Report on Captivity, Angélique de Saint-Jean recounts her personal methods of spiritual resistance as she and her fellow nuns underwent waves of persecution resulting in exile, house arrest, interdict, and excommunication. Her voluminous theological writings present the theoretical basis for this resistance, limiting the claims of political and ecclesiastical authorities over the conscience of the individual. In particular, she defends the right of women to refuse to surrender their convictions due to specious appeals to obedience and humility.

"In his edition and translation of Angélique de Saint-Jean Arnauld d’Andilly’s writings, John J. Conley, SJ, continues his exploration of the history and thought of the women of Port Royal. Fr. Conley’s introduction perfectly contextualizes Angélique de Saint-Jean’s writings. His translation is clear and accessible. His informative notes help the modern reader understand the complexities of Jansenist thought, and navigate complicated historical episodes. This volume provides an excellent portrait of a remarkable intellectual and spiritual woman leader during one of the most fascinating chapters in seventeenth-century France."

Sharon Diane Nell
Professor of French and Dean of the School of Humanities, St. Edward’s University

JOHN CONLEY, S.J., Henry J. Knott Chair of Philosophy and Theology at Loyola University Maryland, has written widely on the convent of Port-Royal as the center of Jansenist resistance to church and king, notably in his monograph Adoration and Annihilation: The Convent Philosophy of Port-Royal (University of Notre Dame Press, 2009) and his translation and edition for the Other Voice series of Jacqueline Pascal’s A Rule for Children (University of Chicago Press, 2003).

Iter and the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2015

The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe: The Toronto Series 41
Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies 484

978-0-86698-539-0 (print)
978-0-86698-713-4 (online)

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