So Great a Light, So Great a Smoke: The Beguin Heretics of Languedoc (Conjunctions of Religion and Power in the Medieval Past)

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9780801441318: So Great a Light, So Great a Smoke: The Beguin Heretics of Languedoc (Conjunctions of Religion and Power in the Medieval Past)

In So Great a Light, So Great a Smoke, Louisa A. Burnham takes us inside the world of a little-known heretical group in the south of France in the early fourteenth century. The Beguins were a small sect of priests and lay people allied to (and sharing many of the convictions of) the Spiritual Franciscans. They stressed poverty in their pursuit of a Franciscan evangelical ideal and believed themselves to be living in the Last Days. By the late thirteenth century, the leaders of the order and the popes themselves had begun to discipline the Spirituals, and by 1317 they had been deemed a heresy. The Beguins refused to accept this situation and began to evade and confront the inquisitorial machine.

Burnham follows the lives of nine Beguins as they conceal themselves in cities, construct an "underground railroad," solicit clandestine donations in order to bribe inquisitors, escape from prison, and venerate the burned bones of their martyred fellows as the relics of saints. Their actions brought the Beguins the apocalypse they had long imagined, as the Church's inquisitors pursued them along with the Spirituals and began to arrest them and burn them at the stake. Reconstructing this dramatic history using inquisitorial depositions, notarial records, and the previously unknown Beguin martyrology, Burnham vividly recreates the world in which the Beguins lived and died for their beliefs.

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From the Back Cover:

"So Great a Light, So Great a Smoke is an incredibly thorough piece of work, immensely readable, and stuffed with fascinating stories. I particularly like the fact that Louisa A. Burnham solved a couple of age-old mysteries during the course of her research."--Catherine Jinks, author of The Secret Familiar

"Louisa A. Burnham has employed her extensive knowledge of inquisitorial sources concerning Languedoc and her close acquaintance with archival sources from Montpelier to produce a book that will be of great interest to every student of medieval heresy, Franciscan history, or French social history. She also manages to be very readable, a rare attainment for any scholar."--David Burr, Virginia Tech

"Louisa A. Burnham addresses a uniquely significant but hitherto neglected chapter in the history of popular religious movements in the Middle Ages: the Beguins of fourteenth-century Languedoc. Her research unveils a community of believers straddling the fringes of orthodoxy and dedicated to preserving the controversial apocalyptic teachings of their spiritual father, Peter John Olivi. Burnham's description of the bonds of fellowship among a generation of dedicated believers, and their resistance tactics when forced underground by persecution, is composed with uncommon compassion and scholarly acumen. Rich in historical detail and in intimate human portraits, So Great a Light, So Great a Smoke provides both a history of the Beguin movement as a whole and a moving reconstruction of the lives of individual men and women struggling to maintain their beliefs and survive in the face of repression."--Nancy Caciola, University of California, San Diego, author of Discerning Spirits

About the Author:

Louisa A. Burnham is Assistant Professor of History at Middlebury College.

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Descripción Cornell University Press, United States, 2008. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.In So Great a Light, So Great a Smoke, Louisa A. Burnham takes us inside the world of a little-known heretical group in the south of France in the early fourteenth century. The Beguins were a small sect of priests and lay people allied to (and sharing many of the convictions of) the Spiritual Franciscans. They stressed poverty in their pursuit of a Franciscan evangelical ideal and believed themselves to be living in the Last Days. By the late thirteenth century, the leaders of the order and the popes themselves had begun to discipline the Spirituals, and by 1317 they had been deemed a heresy. The Beguins refused to accept this situation and began to evade and confront the inquisitorial machine. Burnham follows the lives of nine Beguins as they conceal themselves in cities, construct an underground railroad, solicit clandestine donations in order to bribe inquisitors, escape from prison, and venerate the burned bones of their martyred fellows as the relics of saints. Their actions brought the Beguins the apocalypse they had long imagined, as the Church s inquisitors pursued them along with the Spirituals and began to arrest them and burn them at the stake. Reconstructing this dramatic history using inquisitorial depositions, notarial records, and the previously unknown Beguin martyrology, Burnham vividly recreates the world in which the Beguins lived and died for their beliefs. Nº de ref. de la librería APC9780801441318

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Louisa A. Burnham
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Descripción Cornell University Press, United States, 2008. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. In So Great a Light, So Great a Smoke, Louisa A. Burnham takes us inside the world of a little-known heretical group in the south of France in the early fourteenth century. The Beguins were a small sect of priests and lay people allied to (and sharing many of the convictions of) the Spiritual Franciscans. They stressed poverty in their pursuit of a Franciscan evangelical ideal and believed themselves to be living in the Last Days. By the late thirteenth century, the leaders of the order and the popes themselves had begun to discipline the Spirituals, and by 1317 they had been deemed a heresy. The Beguins refused to accept this situation and began to evade and confront the inquisitorial machine. Burnham follows the lives of nine Beguins as they conceal themselves in cities, construct an underground railroad, solicit clandestine donations in order to bribe inquisitors, escape from prison, and venerate the burned bones of their martyred fellows as the relics of saints. Their actions brought the Beguins the apocalypse they had long imagined, as the Church s inquisitors pursued them along with the Spirituals and began to arrest them and burn them at the stake. Reconstructing this dramatic history using inquisitorial depositions, notarial records, and the previously unknown Beguin martyrology, Burnham vividly recreates the world in which the Beguins lived and died for their beliefs. Nº de ref. de la librería APC9780801441318

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