Il dibattito tra Damaris Masham e Mary Astell sull’amore di Dio: una congettura storiografica?

Author/s Emilio Maria De Tommaso
Publishing Year 2022 Issue 2022/1 Language Italian
Pages 15 P. 36-50 File size 215 KB
DOI 10.3280/SF2022-001003
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Masham-Astell Debate on the Love of God: A Historiographical Conjecture? The purpose of this article is chiefly to challenge the common view that Lady Masham’s Discourse Concerning the Love of God (1696) was composed in response to the Letters Concerning the Love of God (1695) by Mary Astell and John Norris of Bemerton. An unbiased analysis of Masham’s work shows that she did not consider Astell as an adversary when she wrote her Discourse, which was instead an attack on Norris’s view on the love of God. Furthermore, although Astell believed herself to be the target of Masham’s criticisms and, accordingly, replied to them in The Christian Religion (1705), she misattributed Masham’s Discourse Concerning the Love of God to John Locke. The Author thus argues that, rigorously speaking, there was never a Masham-Astell controversy on the love of God and despite both learned ladies making significant contributions to this topic, such a debate was just a historiographical hypothesis grounded on conjecture.

Keywords: Masham, Astell, Norris, love of God, controversy.

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Emilio Maria De Tommaso, Il dibattito tra Damaris Masham e Mary Astell sull’amore di Dio: una congettura storiografica? in "RIVISTA DI STORIA DELLA FILOSOFIA" 1/2022, pp 36-50, DOI: 10.3280/SF2022-001003