The Complete Madame Guyon

Overview

Guyon’s theology and spiritual writing opened new doors to people from all walks of life who yearned for spiritual joy and wisdom. These new translations include her popular A Short and Easy Method of Prayer, as well as her biblical commentary on the Song of Songs, where poetic imagery comes to life with its refreshing sense of God’s desire to join with all humanity. Guyon always writes of the pure love of God, like a human kiss, that leads to the fulfilling union with the divine. The Complete Madame Guyon also ...

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Overview

Guyon’s theology and spiritual writing opened new doors to people from all walks of life who yearned for spiritual joy and wisdom. These new translations include her popular A Short and Easy Method of Prayer, as well as her biblical commentary on the Song of Songs, where poetic imagery comes to life with its refreshing sense of God’s desire to join with all humanity. Guyon always writes of the pure love of God, like a human kiss, that leads to the fulfilling union with the divine. The Complete Madame Guyon also presents examples of her passionate poetry, some of which has never before been translated into English. Guyon expresses the range of feelings involved with living in a relationship with God and her ideas about the real involvement of the divine within the human heart. Nancy James’s historical introduction explains the events of Guyon’s life first as an aristocratic wife and mother of five, and later as a widow traveling around Europe as an author, who ended up incarcerated in the Bastille by the direct order of Louis XIV. Guyon suffered ten years of incarceration, along with accusations of heresy. Cleared of all of charges at the end of her life, in all of her writing Madame Guyon testified to the goodness and holiness of God.

 

"Thanks to Nancy James's scholarly labors, Jeanne Marie Bouvier de la Mothe, more widely known as Madame Guyon (1648-1717) will hopefully become a household word, at least among students of mysticism. By no means an uncontroversial thinker, twice imprisoned for her allegedly heretical ideas, and defended by one bishop (Fénelon) and attacked by another (Bossuet), Madame Guyon's ideas, especially her concept of self-annihilation in the soul's union with God, will likely arouse challenge, even today. We owe Dr. James an enormous debt for her translation of Madame Guyon's works and popularization of her ideas. Through Dr. James's work we can gain insights into not only mystical theology but also seventeenth-century French secular and ecclesiastical politics."
 -- Dr. Peter C. Phan, The Ignacio Ellacuria Chair of Catholic Social Thought, Theology Department, Georgetown University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781557259233
  • Publisher: Paraclete Press
  • Publication date: 12/1/2011
  • Series: Paraclete Giants
  • Pages: 300
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Nancy C. James received her MDiv from Virginia Theological Seminary and her PhD in Religious Studies from the University of Virginia. An ordained Episcopal priest, James serves as a chaplain at the Washington National Cathedral and a Priest Associate at St. John’s, Lafayette Square, as well as other churches in the Washington D.C. area.

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Table of Contents

Preface ix

Introduction

The Life of Madame Jeanne Guyon 3

Her Theology: Te Soul's Journey from Annihilation to Resurrection 23

Other Themes in Her Writings 29

Translator's Note 33

Part 1 Spiritual Writings

A Short and Easy Method of Prayer 39

The Song of Songs of Solomon 95

Excerpt from Madame Guyon's Autobiography 193

Bastille Witness: A Lost Chapter in the Life of Madame Guyon 201

Part 2 Poetry

Wishing for the Reign of Love 211

Holy Solitude 212

Homage to the Infant Son of God 212

Love Pure and Strong 218

Love carries the Soul to Abandonment 219

The Soul Languishes with Love for God 220

Pure Love and Truth: Costly and Rare 221

Love God Alone 222

Sacrifice in the Vicissitudes of Divine Love 223

Blessed Are They Whom Divine Justice Purifies! 226

The Soul Loving and Abandoned to God 228

Only the Love of God 230

New Life after Death 231

Chronology 233

Acknowledgments 237

Notes 239

Selected Bibliography 271

Index 283

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