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Beguines of Medieval Świdnica

The Interrogation of the "Daughters of Odelindis" in 1332

Documents recording the interrogation of sixteen women and the nature of their unusual spiritual practices, now available in a full edition and, for the first time, a full English translation.

In September 1332, in the town of Świdnica, an important economic and communication centre of what was then Silesia, a group of sixteen women stood before the Dominican inquisitor, John of Schwenkenfeld, to testify about the local community of beguines, who called themselves the Hooded Sisters or the Daughters of Odelindis. Les mer

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Documents recording the interrogation of sixteen women and the nature of their unusual spiritual practices, now available in a full edition and, for the first time, a full English translation.

In September 1332, in the town of Świdnica, an important economic and communication centre of what was then Silesia, a group of sixteen women stood before the Dominican inquisitor, John of Schwenkenfeld, to testify about the local community of beguines, who called themselves the Hooded Sisters or the Daughters of Odelindis. We are fortunate that the original records of this heresy interrogation have survived, preserved as a notarial instrument drawn up shortly afterwards, eventually transferred to the Papal Curia, and now kept in the Vatican Library. The documents provide unique insights into the everyday life and spirituality of this group of lay women, as they attempted to adopt the ideals of vita apostolica. They lived in the strict poverty they thought necessary for spiritual perfection, and took part in austere ascetic practices, including regular flagellation and a strict diet regime, aiming to mortify sinful flesh and help them achieve mystical union with God.

Using this evidence, the authors of this book piece together a sense of who these interrogated beguines were and the nature of their spiritual practices. Were they pious illiterates, or self-trained theologians, keenly interested in debates around the doctrine of such intellectuals as Master Eckhart, John Duns Scotus and Thomas Aquinas? The book also addresses the nature of their interrogation and the conduct of Friar John of Schwenkenfeld. And it contains a full edition and, for the first time, a full English translation of the documents themselves.

Detaljer

Forlag
York Medieval Press
Innbinding
Innbundet
Språk
Engelsk
Sider
316
ISBN
9781914049125
Utgivelsesår
2023
Format
23 x 16 cm

Om forfatteren

Paweł Kras is Associate Professor at the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin and Director of the Centre for Medieval Studies in Lublin; his main area of study is the systems of the Inquisition in Medieval Europe. Tomasz Gałuszka is Associate Professor at the Papal University of John Paul II in Krakow and Director of the Dominican Historical Institute; his research focuses on Henry Harrer`s Tractatus contra beghardos, the Dominicans and early fourteenth-century heresy in Lesser Poland.

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