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This dissertation examines literary manifestations of spirituality and theology in women’s writings that appeared throughout the various Reformation movements in France and Italy during the sixteenth century, with particular focus on the oeuvre of Marguerite de Navarre (1492-1549). The intersection of female spirituality and theology, as expressed during an epoch replete with various ecclesiastical and confessional crises, guides the direction of literary analysis of spiritual texts, written by Marguerite de Navarre, as well as her contemporaries, Vittoria Colonna (1490-1547), Marie Dentière (1495-1561), and Olympia Morata (1526-1555). In particular, I claim that reform movements in France and Italy inspire female authors to confront and articulate spiritual and theological thought in a peculiar form of female literary discourse. Moreover, I discuss how female authors appropriate genres not generally used for purposes of theological expression by male authors, such as poetic dialogue and familiar epistolary exchange. As a result of their exploitation of these genres and literary discourses, as well as their epistolary correspondence with one another, a reformed community of women emerges, based on the shared desire to explore, express, and defend theological ideas and spirituality of the nascent Protestant faith.
A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Reinier Leushuis, Professor Directing Dissertation; François Dupuigrenet-Desroussilles, University Representative; Lori J. Walters, Committee Member; Irene Zanini-Cordi, Committee Member; Martin Munro, Committee Member.
Florida State University
Low, M. E. (2018). Women Writing through Reform in France and Italy: Marguerite De Navarre and the Female Spiritual Community. Retrieved from http://purl.flvc.org/fsu/fd/2018_Sp_Low_fsu_0071E_14393