The Wisdom Of The Beguines

Author: Laura Swan
Publisher:
ISBN: 162919008X
Size: 14.63 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
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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.

The Wisdom Of The Beguines

Author: Laura Swan
Publisher: Bluebridge
ISBN: 1933346973
Size: 20.49 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
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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.

Cities Of Ladies

Author: Walter Simons
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 9780812200126
Size: 14.92 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.

The Forgotten Desert Mothers

Author: Laura Swan
Publisher: Paulist Press
ISBN: 0809140160
Size: 17.76 MB
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An introduction to the Sayings, Lives, stories & spirituality of women in the post-biblical, early Christian movement.

Ink And Honey

Author: Sibyl Dana Reynolds
Publisher:
ISBN: 0988349000
Size: 16.62 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."

Soul City

Author: Touré
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 0312425163
Size: 19.77 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
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Visiting the culturally rich community of Soul City during an assignment, journalist Cadillac Jackson follows a hostile mayoral election and falls in love with a woman who challenges him to rethink his African-American identity.

Women S Prophetic Writings In Seventeenth Century Britain

Author: Carme Font
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781317231387
Size: 13.41 MB
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This study examines women’s prophetic writings in seventeenth-century Britain as the literary outcome of a discourse of social transformation that integrates religious conscience, political participation, and gender identity. The following pages approach prophecy as a culture, a language, and a catalyst for collective change as the individual prophet conceptualized it. While the corpus of prophetic writing continues to grow as the result of archival research, this monograph complements our particular knowledge of women’s prophecy in the seventeenth century with a global assessment of what makes speech prophetic in the first place, and what are the differences and similarities between texts that fall into the prophetic mode. These disparities and commonalities stand out in the radical language of prophecy as well as in the way it creates an authorial centre. Examining how authorship is represented in several configurations of prophetic delivery, such as essays on prophecy, poetic prophecy, spiritual autobiography, and election narratives, the different chapters consider why prophecy peaked in the years of the civil wars and how it evolved towards the eighteenth century. The analyses extrapolate the peculiarities of each case study as being representative of a form of textually-based activism that enabled women to gain a deeper understanding of themselves as creators of independent meaning that empowered them as individuals, citizens, and believers.