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Fénelon: Selected Writings
edited, translated, and introduced by Chad Helms
(The Classics of Western Spirituality series)
Paulist Press, Mahwah (NJ) 2006, 400 pages
Fénelon's (François de Salignac de la Mothe-Fénelon (1651-1715) was a major Roman Catholic theologian and literary figure in 17th-century France, where he is considered one of the major authors of the "Great Century" of French letters. This book offers, for the first time in English, a translation of a sampling of his major spiritual writings. Raised in a devoutly Catholic family, Fénelon began to develop his mystical leanings while studying for the priesthood at the seminary of Saint-Sulpice. He defended the mystical tradition in his most important spiritual work, the Explication of the Maxims of the Saints. In addition to his theological and literary writings, he became well known as a spiritual director and addressed hundreds of letters to major figures in France, including the King in the "Letter to Louis XIV." An important addition to college and university libraries as well as history, theology, and comparative literature courses, this book will be warmly welcomed in the academic world.
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