The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Guyon, Jeanne-Marie Bouvier de la Motte

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The Encyclopedia Americana
Guyon, Jeanne-Marie Bouvier de la Motte
Edition of 1920. See also Jeanne Marie Bouvier de la Motte Guyon on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.

GUYON, Jeanne-Marie Bouvier de la Motte, zhän mä-rē boo-vē-ā dė lä mŏt gē-ȯṅ, Madame, French mystic: the introducer in France of the system of Quietism; b. Montargis, 13 April 1648; d. Blois, 9 June 1717. At the age of 16 she was married to Jacques Guyon, after whose death in 1676 the tendency to mystic enthusiasm which had characterized her younger years again acquired ascendency. She published numerous works, such as ‘Le Cantique des Cantiques interprété selon le Sens Mystique’ (1685); ‘Poésies Spirituelles’ (1685); ‘Discours Chretiens et Spirituels’ (1716); etc. At last the archbishop of Paris thought it necessary to take steps against the spread of Madame Guyon's mystical doctrines, and through his influence she was shut up in the convent of the Visitation, but afterward released at the instigation of Madame Maintenon, who herself became for a time a convert to the new doctrines, and allowed Madame Guyon to preach in the seminary of Saint Cyr, where she made a convert and disciple of Fénelon. A commission of ecclesiastics, chief among whom was Bossuet, now sat in judgment, and the doctrines of Madame Guyon were condemned (1695). This led to her being imprisoned for some years, latterly in the Bastille, whence she was liberated in 1702. The rest of her life was spent in retirement and in works of charity. Consult Upham, ‘Life, Religious Opinions and Experiences of Madame Guyon’ (1870); Guerrier, ‘Madame Guyon, sa vie, sa doctrine, son influence’ (1881).