Scott M. Francis

Associate Scholar

20122013 Forum on Peripheries

Scott M. Francis

SAS Postdoctoral Fellow

The Reflexivity of Judgment: Marguerite de Navarre, Spiritual Libertinism, and the Querelle des amies

The works of Marguerite de Navarre (1492-1549) may be read as a response to two mid-16th-century controversies. One involves the “spiritual libertines,” who held that salvation was only attainable through complete inhabitation by the Holy Spirit, which rendered sin impossible and laws and judgments unnecessary, and who were roundly condemned as heretics by Calvin and other Protestant reformers. Another involves the Querelle des amies, a literary debate over the role of women in courtly love. I aim to show how Marguerite defends spiritual libertinism and reveals the impossible situation in which courtly love places women by using literary and theatrical devices to make her readers and spectators aware of the limitations and presumptiveness of their own judgment in matters of theology and love.