THE WISDOM OF THE BEGUINES THE FORGOTTEN STORY OF A MEDIEVAL WOMENS MOVEMENT

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The Wisdom Of The Beguines

Author : Laura Swan
ISBN : 162919008X
Genre : History
File Size : 28.86 MB
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The beguines began to form in various parts of Europe over eight hundred years ago. Beguines were laywomen, not nuns, and they did not live in monasteries. They practiced a remarkable way of living independently, and they were never a religious order or a formalized movement. But there were common elements that these medieval women shared across Europe, including their visionary spirituality, their unusual business acumen, and their courageous commitment to the poor and sick. Beguines were essentially self-defined, in opposition to the many attempts to control and define them. They lived by themselves or in communities called beguinages, which could be single homes for just a few women or, as in Brugge, Brussels, and Amsterdam, walled-in rows of houses where hundreds of beguines lived together--a village of women within a medieval town or city. Among the beguines were celebrated spiritual writers and mystics, including Mechthild of Magdeburg, Beatrijs of Nazareth, Hadewijch, and Marguerite Porete--who was condemned as a heretic and burned at the stake in Paris in 1310. She was not the only beguine suspected of heresy, and often politics were the driving force behind such charges. The beguines, across the centuries, have left us a great legacy. They invite us to listen to their voices, to seek out their wisdom, to discover them anew.
Category: History

The Wisdom Of The Beguines

Author : Laura Swan
ISBN : 1933346973
Genre : History
File Size : 51.90 MB
Format : PDF
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The beguines began to form in various parts of Europe over eight hundred years ago, around the year 1200. Beguines were laywomen, not nuns, and thus did not take solemn vows and did not live in monasteries. The beguines were a phenomenal movement that swept across Europe yet they were never a religious order or a formalized movement. But there were common elements that rendered these women distinctive and familiar, including their common way of life, their unusual business acumen, and their commitment to the poor and marginalized. These women were essentially self-defined, in opposition to the many attempts to control and define them. They lived by themselves or together in so-called beguinages, which could be single houses for as few as a handful of beguines or, as in Brugge and Amsterdam, walled-in rows of houses (enclosing a central court with a chapel) where over a thousand beguines might live—a village of women within a medieval town or city. And each region of Europe has its own beguine stories to tell. Among the beguines were celebrated spiritual writers and mystics, including Mechthild of Magdeburg, Beatrijs of Nazareth, Hadewijch of Brabant, and Marguerite Porete, who was condemned as a heretic and burned at the stake in Paris in 1310. She was not the only beguine suspected of heresy, and often politics were the driving force behind such charges. Certain clerics defended beguines against charges of heresy, while other women had to go undercover by joining a Benedictine or Cistercian monastery. Amazingly, many beguine communities survived for a long time despite oppression, wars, the plague, and other human and natural disasters. Beguines lived through—and helped propel—times of great transition and reform. Beguines courageously spoke to power and corruption, never despairing of God’s compassion for humanity. They used their business acumen to establish and support ministries that extended education, health care, and other social services to the vulnerable. And they preached and taught of a loving God who desired a relationship with each individual person while calling to reform those who used God’s name for personal gain. What strength of spirit protected the lives of these women and their beguinages? What can we learn from them? What might they teach us? The beguines have much to say to our world today. This book invites us to listen to their voices, to discover them anew.
Category: History

Cities Of Ladies

Author : Walter Simons
ISBN : 9780812200126
Genre : History
File Size : 73.66 MB
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Selected by Choice magazine as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2002 In the early thirteenth century, semireligious communities of women began to form in the cities and towns of the Low Countries. These beguines, as the women came to be known, led lives of contemplation and prayer and earned their livings as laborers or teachers. In Cities of Ladies, the first history of the beguines to appear in English in fifty years, Walter Simons traces the transformation of informal clusters of single women to large beguinages. These veritable single-sex cities offered lower- and middle-class women an alternative to both marriage and convent life. While the region's expanding urban economies initially valued the communities for their cheap labor supply, severe economic crises by the fourteenth century restricted women's opportunities for work. Church authorities had also grown less tolerant of religious experimentation, hailing as subversive some aspects of beguine mysticism. To Simons, however, such accusations of heresy against the beguines were largely generated from a profound anxiety about their intellectual ambitions and their claims to a chaste life outside the cloister. Under ecclesiastical and economic pressure, beguine communities dwindled in size and influence, surviving only by adopting a posture of restraint and submission to church authorities.
Category: History

Seeking Spiritual Intimacy

Author : Glenn E. Myers
ISBN : 9780830835515
Genre : Religion
File Size : 54.2 MB
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In Seeking Spiritual Intimacy Glenn Myers introduces us to the Beguines, a network of faith communities in Medieval Europe, where women organized their world around a simple life with Christ at the center. Learn from the insights of wise women of faith who, from their modest homes and communities, revitalized the faith of a continent.
Category: Religion

Labels And Libels

Author : Letha Bohringer
ISBN : 2503551351
Genre : History
File Size : 59.19 MB
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This volume investigates the diverse meanings assigned to and adopted by lay religious women in northern Europe between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries. While many outstanding studies have unearthed the local or regional significance of such women, little comparative or transregional scholarship exists to date. Moreover, traditional emphasis on medieval ecclesiastical condemnation of beguines has obscured the extent to which their communities were intertwined with supportive local social structures. Exploring the multiplicity of contemporary perspectives in the Belgian, Dutch, French, and German contexts over time, the volume traces not only the women's relationships to various authorities and institutions, but also the specific terms used to represent and respond to 'beguines'. Illuminating the kaleidoscopic ways in which medieval people categorized, described, and engaged with such women, the collected essays also underscore the extent to which simple dualities of 'clerical' and 'lay', 'elite' and 'popular', and 'orthodox' and 'heretical' are insufficient constructs with which to map intersections of medieval gender, lay religiosity, and society. In doing so, they propose new avenues and coordinates for exploring the sociospiritual topography of medieval Europe.
Category: History

Meister Eckhart And The Beguine Mystics

Author : Bernard McGinn
ISBN : 0826409296
Genre : Religion
File Size : 67.5 MB
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"A collection of scholarly essays on Marguerite Porete and other 14th-century Beguine mystics and the influence of these women on the thought of Meister Eckhart".--Common Boundary.
Category: Religion

Ink And Honey

Author : Sibyl Dana Reynolds
ISBN : 0988349000
Genre : Christian fiction
File Size : 25.78 MB
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Ink and Honey is the story of a sacred journey through the medieval French countryside with the sisters of Belle C ur, a community of radically independent healers, visionaries, mystics and artisans who live by their wits and their prayers. Goscelin, the dedicated scribe, records her sisterhood's stories, visions and prophecies in her community's journal while surrounded by holy madness, suspicion and the imminent threat of death at the stake. The sisters guard a life-threatening secret as they navigate spiritual terrain where faith and creative passion forge the way to labyrinths and cathedrals, hidden rooms and honey drenched hives. This book is alive with women's ancient wisdom and spiritual practices to inform our lives today."
Category: Christian fiction

The Forgotten Desert Mothers

Author : Laura Swan
ISBN : 0809140160
Genre : Religion
File Size : 62.40 MB
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An introduction to the Sayings, Lives, stories & spirituality of women in the post-biblical, early Christian movement.
Category: Religion

Hadewijch Cws

Author : Hadewijch
ISBN : 0809122979
Genre : Religion
File Size : 68.18 MB
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Hadewijch, a Flemish Beguine of the 13th century, is undoubtedly the most important exponent of love mysticism and one of the loftiest figures in the western mystical tradition.
Category: Religion

Mission To Asia

Author : Christopher Dawson
ISBN : 0802064361
Genre : History
File Size : 29.29 MB
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Narratives by Franciscans sent to Central and East Asia in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries in a heroic but failed attempt to maintain contact with Christians there and convert the Mongols. Reprinted from the 1966 reprint of the 1955 edition.
Category: History