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The Soul, Lover of God by Nancy Carol James


The Soul, Lover of God by Nancy Carol James

The lively and engaging emblems within The Soul, Lover of God unite the 17th century poetry and art of two famous European authors, Madame Jeanne de la Mothe Guyon and Jesuit priest Herman Hugo. Guyon writes poetry describing the soul falling in love with the divine, while Hugo's illustrations imagine a description of the spiritual world. Charged with witchcraft by King Louis XIV, Madame Guyon kept this book during her incarceration in the Bastille before her legal vindication. Guyon and Hugo never met but they share the same yearning to love God, and they creatively capture how Divine Love might transform the willing soul. This book showcases the growing relationship between Anima, the soul, and Divine Love in the emblems' first introduction to the English-speaking world.


Not only is Madame Guyon a deep and profound theologian, but she invites the Christian into an ever deeper relationship with God. Madame Guyon stands alongside the greats in the mystical tradition-Mother Julian of Norwich, Meister Eckhart, and Thomas a Kempis. -- Dr. Ian Markham, Dean of Virginia Theological Seminary Nancy C. James presents a clear, elegant translation of the original French that surmounts some of the difficulties of Guyon's theology with abundant imagery from traditional love poetry, such as the heart that leaves the body to join the beloved in Emblem XXXIX. James provides the introduction by Pierre Poiret from the 1717 edition and clarifications of scriptural references. Guyon's sighs console the soul while they reflect the glory of God. -- Sharon D. Voros, United States Naval Academy Nancy James has invested considerable energies in the study of Madame Guyon, gaining impressive expertise. This emblem book will introduce readers to a fascinating new side of Guyon that combines poetry and art. Guyon's passion for God evidences itself in the poems, showing the mystic's yearning for completion in union with God. Highly recommended. -- Reverend Dr. William Roberts, Virginia Theological Seminary

About the Author

Nancy Carol James, an ordained Episcopal priest, received her MDiv from Virginia Theological Seminary and her PhD from the University of Virginia. She serves as a chaplain at the Washington National Cathedral and a Priest Associate at St. John's, Lafayette Square, as well as other churches in the Washington D.C. area.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st July 2014


Nancy Carol James

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University Press of America


146 pages




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