French And Italian | Religious Controversy in France: 1598-1685
F450 | 2536 | Wilkin

In this class we will examine a paradox: religion deals in universals,
yet history reveals that there is no universal agreement as to what
religion is best, or even what one faith means and how it should be
practiced. The eighty-seven years we will study – from the Edict of
Nantes (1598), in which Henri IV ended warring between Catholics and
Protestants, to its Revocation (1685) by Louis XIV, -- were a
tumultuous time, during which Counter-Reformation zeal exalted
martyrs, produced a rash of possession cases in convents around
France, and inspired both women and men to travel to the New World to
(attempt to)convert "Savages;" conflicting interpretations of Catholic
doctrine led to bitter theological quarrels among Jansenists and
Jesuits, while philosophers debated the role of reason in faith;
increasing intolerance denied women religious authority and forced
Protestants and Jews either to convert to Catholicism or to flee
France. Authors to be studied include Agrippa d'Aubigné, Marie de
l'Incarnation, Jeanne des Anges, Pierre Corneille, René Descartes,
Blaise Pascal, Père Le Moyne, Jeanne-Marie Bouvier de la Motte (Madame
de Guyon), Jacques Bénigne Bossuet, Pierre Bayle. Students will be
graded on the quality of their participation and writing assignments:
3 one-page response papers (1 page) and 3 essays (5 pages).