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Mirroring Belief: Marguerite de Navarre's Devotional Poetry

Overview

Largely on the basis of her great prose work L'Heptameron, Marguerite de Navarre has been accepted as an important writer of the French Renaissance. At the same time, surprisingly little attention has been devoted to the poems and verse plays which constitute such an important part of her literary legacy. Gary Ferguson uses his detailed knowledge of the richness of sixteenth-century devotional writing to re-assess Marguerite de Navarre's poetry. He shows that this genre was of particular importance during the ...
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Overview

Largely on the basis of her great prose work L'Heptameron, Marguerite de Navarre has been accepted as an important writer of the French Renaissance. At the same time, surprisingly little attention has been devoted to the poems and verse plays which constitute such an important part of her literary legacy. Gary Ferguson uses his detailed knowledge of the richness of sixteenth-century devotional writing to re-assess Marguerite de Navarre's poetry. He shows that this genre was of particular importance during the period of religious confusion of the early Reformation, since it combines elements of both mystical and theological writing. From this basis, Ferguson offers a re-evaluation of the poetry of this devout thinker, revealing her views on issues as fundamental as the nature of justification; the role of the Church and the sacraments; the problem of faith and works; and the question of the Bible and its interpretation. The conclusion reached is that the religious questions Marguerite explores within her poetry are not only central to her own writings, but also to her age.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780748603473
  • Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/1992
  • Pages: 240

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
List of Abbreviations
Preface. Devotion and Doctrine: A Problem of Interpretation
Notes
Pt. I Religious Structures
Introduction. Structures under Stress 3
Notes 9
Ch. 1 Structures of Soteriology: The Problem of Justification 10
Augustine to the Middle Ages 10
Luther and Other Sixteenth-Century Theologians 14
The Sommaire of Estienne 17
Vernacular Writers of the Sixteenth Century 21
Marguerite de Navarre: Early Works 26
Marguerite de Navarre: Later Works 42
Notes 48
Ch. 2 Structures Historical and Ecclesiastical 54
The Personal and the Universal: The Self in History 54
The Personal and the Institutional: The Self in the Church 76
The Church: The Body of Christ 76
The Saints 90
The Sacrament of Baptism 107
The Eucharist, Penance and Unction 114
Notes 126
Pt. II Religious Language
Introduction. The Clash of Text and Context 135
Notes 144
Ch. 3 The Consecration of Formulae and the Theological Virtues 147
St Paul, Augustine and Aquinas 147
Faith Formed and Unformed 149
Calvin and Foi-confiance 153
Foy Vive and Foy Oeuvrant 157
Brodeau and Mailly 160
Marguerite de Navarre: Early Works 161
Marguerite de Navarre: Later Works 168
Notes 177
Ch. 4 Allegorical Hermeneutics: Approaches to Reading the Bible 179
The Bible and its Use 179
St John 2 and the Oraison de l'ame fidele 182
Water from the Rock: Numbers 20 187
Relationships New and Old 189
The Prodigal Son 190
The Adulterous Wife 196
Sisters and Mothers 199
The Ark of Salvation and the Image of the Ship 200
The Vray David 211
A Theory of Allegorical Hermeneutics 214
Notes 222
Conclusions 229
Note 232
Select Bibliography 233
Index of Writers and Works 251
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