Come and explore the radical, independent nature and legacy of a medieval lay women’s movement that involved thousands of women over several centuries in northern Europe and in some cases has continued to our own time! Living in common and devoted to lives of service and works of justice, the beguines were self-governing, did not take vows and were financially independent. Over time, many beguines were perceived as a threat to the institutional church, persecuted and ultimately repressed.
We will examine this movement and its implications for women today regarding women’s roles, church, spirituality and imagination. Starting with the historical context and visionary spirituality of the beguines, we will explore how the literary and theological contributions of individual beguines such as Mechthild of Magdeburg, Hadewijch, and Marguerite Porete address OUR time.
This course is facilitated by Mary Kaye Medinger.