By Madame de Maintenon
Denounced through her contemporaries as a political schemer and non secular enthusiast, Maintenon has lengthy been criticized as an opponent of gender equality. The writings during this quantity faithfully replicate Maintenon's appreciate for social hierarchy and her stoic demand girls to simply accept the tasks in their kingdom in lifestyles. however the writings additionally echo Maintenon's extra feminist matters: the necessity to redefine the virtues within the mild of women's event, the significance of naming the restrictions on women's freedom, and the pressing have to treatment the scandalous forget of the schooling of women.
In her writings in addition to in her personal version tuition at Saint-Cyr, Maintenon embodies the call for for academic reform because the key to the empowerment of ladies on the sunrise of modernity.
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Extra resources for Dialogues and addresses
With the exception of the letters, her written works began as a type of oral communication. During her long tenure as the director of Saint-Cyr, Maintenon delivered hundreds of talks to the school’s teachers and pupils. The Dames 16. Widely used by new women’s congregations in seventeenth-century France, the Rule of Saint Augustine was considered the most ﬂexible of the constitutions approved by the Catholic Church for use by religious orders. With its minimal rules of cloister, governance, and communal prayer, the Rule of Saint Augustine permitted Maintenon to retain practical control of the Dames de Saint-Louis and to maintain their focus on educational work rather than contemplation.
As certain critics have long alleged, this disdain for women’s theological reﬂection, sharply divergent from Jacqueline Pascal’s model of education for women at PortRoyal, manifests the anti-intellectual streak in Maintenon’s educational experiment. But it also reveals Maintenon’s own version of Christianity, which she is more than willing to defend by her own theological arguments. This version of the gospel insists that the test of discipleship is the daily practice of virtues appropriate to one’s state of life.
On many substantive salon disputes, Maintenon defends comparatively conventional views toward the status of women. She criticizes, for example, contemporary efforts to champion the vocation of the single professional woman as superior to that of the wife-mother. But even when she defends social custom, her dialogical texts faithfully present the voices of students, faculty, and ﬁctitious characters who demand a more substantial change in the social position of women. Throughout her canon Maintenon constructs an apology for the right of women to their own culture: an ensemble of artistic, moral, and vocational practices that differ from the norms of male society.
Dialogues and addresses by Madame de Maintenon