The Wisdom of the Beguines: The Forgotten Story of a Medieval Women's Movement

Item# 9781629190082
$16.76
The beguines, laywomen who lived independently in Europe over eight hundred years ago, embraced a visionary spirituality, displayed remarkable business acumen, and demonstrated a courageous commitment to the poor and... Read more

The beguines, laywomen who lived independently in Europe over eight hundred years ago, embraced a visionary spirituality, displayed remarkable business acumen, and demonstrated a courageous commitment to the poor and sick. They formed communities called beguinages, ranging from single homes to walled-in rows of houses, where they lived together as a village within medieval towns or cities. Celebrated beguines included spiritual writers and mystics like 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. Their enduring legacy invites us to seek their wisdom and discover them anew.

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Description

The beguines began to form in different parts of Europe over eight hundred years ago. Unlike nuns, beguines were laywomen who didn't live in monasteries. They had a unique way of living independently and were not part of a religious order or formalized movement. However, these medieval women shared common elements across Europe, such as their visionary spirituality, exceptional business skills, and dedicated service to the poor and sick. Beguines defined themselves in opposition to attempts to control or define them. They lived alone or in communities called beguinages, which could range from single homes for a few women to walled-in rows of houses where hundreds of beguines lived together, creating a village of women within a medieval town or city.

Among the beguines were renowned spiritual writers and mystics, including Mechthild of Magdeburg, Beatrijs of Nazareth, Hadewijch, and Marguerite Porete. Unfortunately, Marguerite Porete was condemned as a heretic and burned at the stake in Paris in 1310. She was not the only beguine suspected of heresy; often, political motivations were behind such charges.

Throughout the centuries, the beguines have left behind a significant legacy. They invite us to listen to their voices, seek their wisdom, and rediscover them in a fresh light.

Information

Brand: Bluebridge Books

Publisher Date: 06/14/2016

Author: Laura Swan

Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 0.6

UPC: 9781629190082

Pages: 208