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La femme entre raison et religion : Les Américaines ou La preuve de la religion chrétienne par les lumières naturelles de Marie Leprince de Beaumont

Abstract : Marie Leprince de Beaumont is one of the most widely read authors in the education literature in eighteenth century France and Europe. If the series of her Magasins have been subject of many analyses, only in recent years the research focuses on the diversity offered by her literary production. This work on Les Américaines takes part of this development. The study presents various aspects of the text in detail and takes into account the literary, philosophical and historical reality in order to position the book in the complete work of the author and in the literary field at the time. The first approach delivers the overall presentation of the book. In this part, the genesis and the various editions of Les Américaines are exposed. Furthermore, structure and characters are presented and the title is explained. Finally, the text is examined in relation to its position in the whole work of Marie Leprince de Beaumont. Three profound analyses are added, namely the educational aspect, the establishment of apologetics and debates on the equality of men and women in Les Américaines. First, the educational character of the text is based on the educational continuity of the Magasins. In general, the pedagogy of Marie Leprince de Beaumont unites the ideas of Locke, very popular at that time, and of Descartes, which she takes from Fenelon and the Marquise de Lambert. Indeed, the four tenets of the scientific method established by Descartes in the Discours de la méthode can be understood as the guiding thread of the educational strategy in Les Américaines. Next, the instruction is enriched by the dialogical form. The dialogue enables the extension of knowledge, performativity puts learning directly into action. Second, the examination of Christian apologetics in Les Américaines considers the position of the apologetic literature in the eighteenth century. It turns out that the terminology establishing a dichotomy between "Enlightenment" and "Counter-Enlightenment" finally corresponds only little to the plurality of thoughts that exists at that time. Indeed, Marie Leprince de Beaumont and her work can exemplify the young concept of "Catholic Enlightenment". Her sources of inspiration are the metaphysical ideas of Descartes and Pascal’s theological theories. In addition, the dialogue between philosophy and religion with regard to the reality of the eighteenth century on the one hand, and the image of Reformation in the text on the other hand, play an important role in the apologetic argumentation. Finally, the sources of the author are reconstituted. In a third analysis, debates on the equality of the two sexes in Les Américaines are examined. First, the terminology around the concept "querelle des femmes" and the impact of Cartesianism in this discussion are taken into account. The work and theories of Poulain de la Barre appear to have much influence, even if his reception by Marie Leprince de Beaumont cannot be proved. Furthermore, the representations of women in the book are mentioned. The image of the Christian woman and the woman's access to knowledge seem to be the two preferred interests of the author. In the conclusion of the study, the reception of the text is discussed and a result is drawn. It seems that some aspects in Les Américaines are somewhat "delayed". This delay can be explained by the purpose of the educator to sell her work defending faith best possible while having success as a female writer in her time.
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Submitted on : Friday, March 30, 2018 - 9:51:28 AM
Last modification on : Monday, March 2, 2020 - 2:52:05 PM

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  • HAL Id : tel-01754502, version 1



Ramona Herz. La femme entre raison et religion : Les Américaines ou La preuve de la religion chrétienne par les lumières naturelles de Marie Leprince de Beaumont. Littératures. Université de Lorraine, 2015. Français. ⟨NNT : 2015LORR0214⟩. ⟨tel-01754502⟩



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