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Religions 2018, 9(3), 69;

Conventual Writing and Context: The Case of Port-Royal

Philosophy and Theology Departments, Loyola University Maryland, Baltimore, MD 21210, USA
Received: 11 December 2017 / Revised: 23 January 2018 / Accepted: 26 February 2018 / Published: 1 March 2018
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Many of the spiritual texts produced in the early modern period were written by nuns. To teach these texts adequately, it is not sufficient to study the work itself or the biography of the author. Effective exegesis of the texts requires detailed attention to the conventual culture in which these works were written, since this culture is foreign to the vast majority of contemporary students and readers. This contextual analysis operates on three levels. The first level introduces the students to the general nature of the convent and the life of a nun: the evangelical vows, the rule/constitution of the order, and the different types of religious orders. The second level focuses on the specific culture of the convent where the texts were composed. This involves analysis of the convent’s particular spirituality, apostolate, literary genres of communication, and relationship to broader ecclesiastical and political movements of the times. The third level studies the gendered nature of the nuns’ writings. This contextualist-cultural method of teaching écriture couventuelle is illustrated through analysis of the writings of the prolific Port-Royal abbess, Angélique de Saint-Jean Arnauld d’Andilly. View Full-Text
Keywords: Augustinian; Benedictine; Cistercian; convent; gender; Jansenism; Port-Royal; pedagogy; resistance; vows Augustinian; Benedictine; Cistercian; convent; gender; Jansenism; Port-Royal; pedagogy; resistance; vows
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Conley, J.J. Conventual Writing and Context: The Case of Port-Royal. Religions 2018, 9, 69.

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