• AUTHORITATIVE LETTERS JEANNE DE CHANTAL AND FEMININE AUTHORITY IN THE EARLY MODERN CATHOLIC CHURCH

      Krueger, Rita; Levitt, Laura, 1960- (Temple University. Libraries, 2014)
      The early modern period of a time of religious renewal and upheaval that resulted in a wealth of new religious orders, particularly those for women. During this period of change, Catholic women responded to the threat of Protestantism by adapting the convent to their own needs. One of the most successful orders for women was the Congregation of the Visitation, founded by Jeanne de Chantal and François de Sales. The history of the Visitation tends to focus on de Sales rather than its cofounder de Chantal. This thesis attempts to reconcile this omission, detailing de Chantal's ability to demonstrate and enact her authority through the mode of letters. In doing so, this paper enters into a conversation on religious revival in the early modern period by illustrating the porous nature of the early modern convent and the role women had in shaping early modern religiosity.