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Francois Fenelon
Biography
Francois de Salignac de la Mothe Fénelon (1651–1715) was a French archbishop, theologian, and writer whose excursions into the contemplative life, especially the quietism espoused by Mme. Guyon, caused controversy in the church of his day. His writings remain, though, as an encouragement and source of spiritual growth for many Christians today.

Fénelon, descended from a long line of nobility, started his higher studies in 1672 at Saint-Sulpice seminary in Paris. He was ordained a priest in 1676 and appointed director of Nouvelles Catholiques ("New Cathoics"), a college for women who taught converts from French Protestantism. Fénelon, while never supportive of Protestantism, was nonetheless critical of harsh treatment toward Hugeunots (French Protestants) and the many forced conversions that occurred under King Louis XIV. Fénelon instead held open meetings with Protestants to share the Catholic doctrine in a non-threatening environment.

Fénelon's first important work, Traite de l'education des filles (Treatise on the Education of Girls), was conservative overall but also suggested non-coercive concepts for educating females that were very innovative for his day. His second and best-known work, Les Aventures de Telemaque (The Adventures of Telemachus), outlined Fénelon's political beliefs through the account of Telemachus's search for Ulysses. It was written during Fénelon's time as tutor to Louis, Duke de Bourgogne, the grandson and heir to Louis XIV.

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