Juan Luis Vives (1492–1540) and De institutione feminae Christianae

  • Martina Ješovnik Škofijska gimnazija Antona Martina Slomška, Maribor, Slovenia
  • David Movrin University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Slovenia
Keywords: Juan Luis Vives, humanism, Henry VIII, Spanish Inquisition, Catherine of Aragon, position of women


Juan Luis Vives, considered by his contemporaries as one of the leading thinkers of his time, has been gaining scholarly attention in recent decades, mainly due to the work of researchers such as Carlos Noreña and Charles Fantazzi. The paper reviews his diverse opus and its historical context – the position of Spanish Jews during the Inquisition, the court of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, the Anglican schism. Attention is given to his treatise De institutione feminae Christianae and its connection to the increasingly precarious position of Queen Catherine and Princess Mary. Vives offers several innovations regarding the status of women, some of which were  surprisingly liberal for his time. Particularly striking is his emphasis on intellectual abilities; he advocated the then-unusual view that a woman can achieve true virtue through her intellect, learning, and study. The article is accompanied by a Slovenian translation of the entire preface to the text in question, which was dedicated to Queen Catherine.


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How to Cite
Ješovnik, Martina, and David Movrin. 2020. “Juan Luis Vives (1492–1540) and De Institutione Feminae Christianae”. Clotho 2 (1), 79-93. https://doi.org/10.4312/clotho.2.1.79-93.