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The Wisdom of the Beguines


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Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Who Were the Beguines? 2. Beguines across Europe 3. The Beguinage 4. Beguine Ministries 5. Beguine Spirituality 6. Beguine Compassion 7. Beguines as Preachers and Performers 8. Literary Beguines 9. Were Beguines Heretics? Conclusion Acknowledgments Notes Bibliography Index

About the Author

Laura Swan has for many years studied and written about the history of women's spirituality and the monastic life. She is the associate editor of Magistra: A Journal of Women's Spirituality in History and adjunct professor of religious studies at Saint Martin's University in Washington State. A member and former prioress of St. Placid Priory, a community of Benedictine women in the Pacific Northwest, her books include The Forgotten Desert Mothers and Engaging Benedict.


PRAISE FOR "THE WISDOM OF THE BEGUINES": "The Wisdom of the Beguines...sweeps up some surprising women...and a range of locales...What's left is a legacy that had more influence than official church history acknowledges. Swan's book is a useful corrective."--THE SEATTLE TIMES "Swan...brings their lives and writings to the general reader with a clear, admiring narrative...her book is a sympathetic look at the Beguines that will intrigue anyone interested in women's spirituality."--PUBLISHERS WEEKLY "...Swan's book provides an accessible overview of beguine spirituality in the context of their own times...[it] does a good job of explaining both the beguines' spiritual practices and their continuing legacy."--COMMONWEAL

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