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Religions 2012, 3(4), 950-963; doi:10.3390/rel3040950
Article

The Confessions of Montaigne

Department of History, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA
Received: 24 September 2012 / Revised: 10 October 2012 / Accepted: 11 October 2012 / Published: 15 October 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From the Renaissance to the Modern World)
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Abstract

Montaigne rarely repented and he viewed confession—both juridical and ecclesiastical—with skepticism. Confession, Montaigne believed, forced a mode of self-representation onto the speaker that was inevitably distorting. Repentance, moreover, made claims about self-transformation that Montaigne found improbable. This article traces these themes in the context of Montaigne’s Essays, with particular attention to “On Some Verses of Virgil” and argues that, for Montaigne, a primary concern was finding a means of describing a self that he refused to reduce, as had Augustine and many other writers before and after him, to the homo interior.
Keywords: Montaigne; self; confession; prayer; repentance; interiority; sexuality; sincerity Montaigne; self; confession; prayer; repentance; interiority; sexuality; sincerity
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).
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Martin, J.J. The Confessions of Montaigne. Religions 2012, 3, 950-963.

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