Academic journal article Magistra

Sacrifice and Delight in the Mystical Theologies of Anna Maria Van Schurman and Madame Jeanne Guyon

Academic journal article Magistra

Sacrifice and Delight in the Mystical Theologies of Anna Maria Van Schurman and Madame Jeanne Guyon

Article excerpt

Sacrifice and Delight in the Mystical Theologies of Anna Maria van Schurman and Madame Jeanne Guyon, by Bo Karen Lee. South Bend: University of Notre Dame Press, 2015. 264 pp., $29, ISBN 978-0-268-03391-0.

Those of us of a "certain" feminist bent, especially those of us with Irish, Hispanic, or Italian grandmothers, might find ourselves deeply resistant to reading Lee's study. Fine scholarship liberates the genius of a tradition from its later distortions (perpetuated by some of our ancestors) while also acknowledging problems with that tradition. Lee's eyes were "wide open," retrieving the best and acknowledging the problems.

Anna Maria van Schurman [1607-1678] was born into a Dutch Calvinist family and was a renowned intellectual as an artist, musician and student of philosophy, but especially known for her linguistic genius. She gained access to the university, while required to hide behind a screen in the corner of the lecture hall. She would become known as a respected commentator on Scripture. Experiencing a dramatic religious "conversion," Schurman joined a Pietistic movement. Her subsequent struggles between intellectual ways of knowledge versus inner knowledge [intima notitia or knowledge gained through contemplation] were played out in her Eukleria.

Madame Jeanne Guyon [1648-1717] was a French Catholic woman whose thought and teaching would be associated with Quietism and fall under the suspicion of Church authorities. …

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