National Changhua University of Education, May 22, (2009)
Both British Anne Askew (1521-1546) and Margaret Fell (1614-1702) suffered the political and religious persecution, but they were strong enough to voice their self and truth they valued by means of writing. This paper attempts to examine these two religious women’s personal autonomy and religious self-assurance in terms of Michel Foucault’s technologies of the self. The main ideas of technologies of self are “Know yourself” and “Take care of yourself.” “Writing,” writes Foucault, “was … important in the culture of the care of the self” (Ethics 232). According to Foucault, technologies of the self operate on their own bodies and souls, thoughts, and conduct so as to transform themselves in order to attain a certain state of happiness, purity, wisdom, perfection, or immortality. By writing The Examinations and Women’s Speaking Justified in prison, Askew and Fell formed their subjectivity and affirmed their religious truth.