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The Wisdom Of The Beguines

Author : Laura Swan
ISBN : 162919008X
Genre : History
File Size : 40.72 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

Cities Of Ladies

Author : Walter Simons
ISBN : 9780812200126
Genre : History
File Size : 34.69 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

Meister Eckhart And The Beguine Mystics

Author : Bernard McGinn
ISBN : 9781441134585
Genre : Religion
File Size : 65.36 MB
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The great German mystic Meister Eckhart remains one of the most fascinating figures in Western thought. Revived interest in Eckhart's mysticism has been matched, and even surpassed, by the study of the women mystics of the late13th century. This book argues that Eckhart's thought cannot be fully be understood until it is viewed against the background of the breakthroughs made by the women mystics who preceded him.
Category: Religion

Brides In The Desert

Author : Saskia Murk-Jansen
ISBN : 9781592447961
Genre : Religion
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The Beguine movement arose in Europe during the thirteenth century and consisted of women living together in chastity and poverty, doing works of Christian charity. Although many of their number were wealthy, this urban phenomenon had no founder, no single rule, and no agreed way of life. The Beguine movement was part of a yearning to democratize religion, and it produced four great writers. Saskia Murk-Jansen, a specialist in medieval women's mysticism, looks at the lives and works of Beatrijs of Nazareth, Mechtild of Magdeburg, Hadewijch, and Marguerite Porete. These mystics used images, metaphor, and paradox to express the numinous aspect of God. They pioneered vernacular literature and forged theological visions out of their own experience. Their writings provide an invaluable supplement to the work of their male contemporaries. Saskia Murk-Jansen probes the key images in Beguine spirituality including the soul as the bride of God, suffering as an integral part of a relationship with the Holy One, and the desert as a place to focus on the transcendent. In this excellent, balanced treatment, Murk-Jansen clearly outlines the development of the movement, pointing to its influence as well as its repression by church authorities.
Category: Religion

From England To France

Author : William Chester Jordan
ISBN : 9781400866397
Genre : History
File Size : 38.61 MB
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At the height of the Middle Ages, a peculiar system of perpetual exile—or abjuration—flourished in western Europe. It was a judicial form of exile, not political or religious, and it was meted out to felons for crimes deserving of severe corporal punishment or death. From England to France explores the lives of these men and women who were condemned to abjure the English realm, and draws on their unique experiences to shed light on a medieval legal tradition until now very poorly understood. William Chester Jordan weaves a breathtaking historical tapestry, examining the judicial and administrative processes that led to the abjuration of more than seventy-five thousand English subjects, and recounting the astonishing journeys of the exiles themselves. Some were innocents caught up in tragic circumstances, but many were hardened criminals. Almost every English exile departed from the port of Dover, many bound for the same French village, a place called Wissant. Jordan vividly describes what happened when the felons got there, and tells the stories of the few who managed to return to England, either illegally or through pardons. From England to France provides new insights into a fundamental pillar of medieval English law and shows how it collapsed amid the bloodshed of the Hundred Years' War.
Category: History

Labels And Libels

Author : Letha Bohringer
ISBN : 2503551351
Genre : History
File Size : 48.50 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

A Tall Man In A Low Land

Author : Harry Pearson
ISBN : 9780349139722
Genre : Travel
File Size : 69.88 MB
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Most British travel writers head south for a destination that is hot, exotic, dangerous or all three. Harry Pearson chose to head in the opposite direction for a country which is damp, safe and of legendary banality: Belgium. But can any nation whose most famous monument is a statue of a small boy urinating really be that dull? Pearson lived there for several months, burying himself in the local culture. He drank many of the 800 different beers the Belgians produce; ate local delicacies such as kip kap (jellied pig cheeks) and a mighty tonnage of chicory and chips. In one restaurant the house speciality was 'Hare in the style of grandmother'. 'I didn't order it. I quite like hare, but had no wish to see one wearing zip-up boots and a blue beret.' A TALL MAN IN A LOW LAND commemorates strange events such as The Festival of Shrimps at Oostduinkerke and laments the passing of the Underpant Museum in Brussels. No reader will go away from A TALL MAN IN A LOW LAND without being able to name at least ten famous Belgians. Mixing evocative description and low-grade buffoonery Harry Pearson paints a portrait of Belgium that is more rounded than a Smurf after a night on the mussels.
Category: Travel

The Heresy Of The Free Spirit In The Later Middle Ages

Author : Lerner
ISBN : 0268160805
Genre :
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The Heresy of the Free Spirit in the Later Middle Ages has been widely recognized as the standard work on the subject in any language. Robert E. Lerner examines this fourteenth-century European heresy as it appeared in its own age. He concludes that the Free-Spirit movement was not a tightly organized sect of anarchistic deviants, but rather a spectrum of belief that emphasized voluntary poverty and quietist mysticism.

Ink And Honey

Author : Sibyl Dana Reynolds
ISBN : 0988349000
Genre : Christian fiction
File Size : 66.65 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

Women Christian Mystics Speak To Our Times

Author : David Brian Perrin
ISBN : 1580510957
Genre : Religion
File Size : 83.67 MB
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Women Christian Mystics Speak to Our Times is an ambitious collection of essays by leading scholars that connects the modern world with the timeless wisdom of women such as Catherine of Siena, Hildegard of Bingen, Th-rFse of Lisieux, Mary of Bizye, Julian of Norwich, Teresa of Avila, Birgitta of Sweden, Hadewijch of Brabant, Agnes of Blarmbekin, Mechthild of Magdeburg, Marguerite de Porete, and Catherine of Genoa. While emphasizing the holy lives of these women, this book also reveals their lasting contributions to theology and spirituality. Bound by a common belief that women Christian mystics have much to teach us today, these accessible essays are geared toward classrooms and educated lay readers.
Category: Religion