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IMC 2006: Sessions

Session 1108: Hostile Environments?: Beguines and Sisters in their Urban Context, II

Wednesday 12 July 2006, 11.15-12.45

Organiser:Letha Böhringer, Stadtarchiv Köln
Moderator/Chair:Koen Goudriaan, Opleiding Geschiedenis, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Paper 1108-aNetworking Observant Franciscans and their Ties to Womens' Communities
(Language: English)
Daniel B. Stracke, Institut für vergleichende Städtegeschichte, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
Index terms: Gender Studies, Lay Piety, Religious Life
Paper 1108-bMirrors of Scholarly Souls: Thinking with Beguines in the Colleges of Medieval Paris
(Language: English)
Tanya Stabler Miller, Department of History, University of California, Santa Barbara
Index terms: Education, Gender Studies, Lay Piety, Religious Life
Paper 1108-cWhy did Beguines Disappear from Cologne in the 15th Century?
(Language: English)
Letha Böhringer, Stadtarchiv Köln
Index terms: Gender Studies, Lay Piety, Religious Life

The existence of sisters or 'women called beguines', who neither lived with their families nor took vows in an established order, caused some unrest in late medieval towns all over Europe. Especially in the 14th century, when there were thousands of such women living on their own, in small groups, convents or large beguinages, their fellow citizens were divided in their opinion on whether to welcome or to distrust them. Hostile emotions led to their persecution and eviction in cities such as Basel and Strasbourg, but there were also many gestures of acceptance and integration into urban society. Two sessions will give occasion to focus on both aspects, as can be detected in different cities and regions – Belgium, Strasbourg, Thuringia, and Paris. These sessions bring together, for the first time, American and German students and scholars who work on various aspects of independent religious lifestyles.