Theses Bachelor's

"In the world but not of the world"? Doucelina, Felipa, and the Beguines of Marseilles

Genecin, Isabel

In the thirteenth century, waves of popular religious feeling inundated Western Europe, and several lay religious movements gained new members and prestige. In this climate of religious opportunity, beguines, or independent semi-religious women, established houses called beguinages and lived a religious life of their choosing, without monastic control or an established rule. The beguine “movement” has been called the first women’s movement in western history. Beguines have been the subjects of much recent scholarship, but most of that work concerns the beguines of the Low Countries – modern-day Belgium and the Netherlands – and emphasizes their spiritual roles, and their asceticism and humility. This thesis focuses specifically on the beguines of Marseilles, a community that has barely been studied, and analyzes their social, economic, and political roles within the larger context of the rapid expansion of Marseilles.

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Thesis Advisors
Armstrong, Charles K.
B.A., Columbia University
Published Here
May 20, 2015