The voices of the Beguines, women who sought to make sense of their experience of God in a world where suffering was commonplace, can be difficult to hear. By placing them in their historical, literary and theological context this book introduces the reader to some of the most challenging religious texts of the middle ages. The four women discussed in this book between them span the thirteenth century, a period which was the time of greatest flowering of Beguine mystic literature.
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With no single founder, rule, or way of life attributed to them, the Beguines, members of a lay women's movement that flourished in Germany during the 12th and 13th centuries, generally lived in small, self-supporting communities, studying and teaching the Bible and working to alleviate poverty. In this excellent, balanced treatment, Murk-Jansen, a specialist at Cambridge in medieval women's mysticism, clearly outlines the development of the movement, pointing to its influence as well as its repression by church authorities, and carefully examines the lives and works of four key figures in the movement.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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